Do you remember the end of the film Back To The Future where the professor comes to Marty McFly’s house in the DeLorean? Only now, the car can fly, and it no longer needs atomic material to power it.
While he’s waiting for Marty, the professor roots around in the garbage cans for fuel to put in the car. He opens the hood and starts pouring the remaining contents of a Coke can into the fuel hopper.
Then he gives an ‘absent minded professor’ kind of shrug and tosses the can itself into the fuel hopper.
Don’t you think human being a little bit like the car, when you think of all the great variety of things that we can take into our bodies that we digest to power our cells.
Of course there are things we can’t use. But it is said by some – Yuval Harari, for example – that a big part of how we got so brainy is because we harnessed fire. And with it we can cook food.
By cooking food we get much more nutrition out of raw materials compared to raw food.
That sets us apart from other animals. Think about cows and elephants that have to spend all day eating just to get enough food. The analysis might break down when I think about hummingbirds that get nectar from flowers, but still…
It’s lucky for cows that their necks and heads can point downwards, or they would get terrible neck ache.
Did you know that giraffe have a huge muscle that stretches down their backs so that they can pull their heads back upright after reaching down to drink? And they have multiple valves in the blood flow in their necks so that they don’t black out when they lift their necks.
And that brings me to the perfect birthday cake. With all the ingredients that could go into a cake, strawberry is the flavour that my mind sees as ‘home’. My tastebuds like many flavours and consistencies, but strawberry trifle (I know it’s not a cake) beats them all.