Life without Pots and Pans

by Hellen Zee

Way back when, in the days of primitive man, preparing food was a nightmare. The chores involved including collecting firewood and building an open flame. Eating the food itself usually involved putting it on a spit and holding it over an open flame, or laying it on rocks heated especially for the task. As time marched on, mankind became better with utilizing resources and pots and pans became more and more common. Eventually, it was normal them everywhere. With the ability to prepare food in pots and pans rather than holding food over the fire, the chore of cooking became easier and easier. In fact, in the modern day there is a plethora of cooking products available to choose from, so many in fact, that it can be difficult to find the cookware that you need with so many pots and pans available. From nonstick surfaces to easy cleaning products, the pots and pans in the modern-day far outstrip the old junk that our ancestors were so happy to have.

In the earliest days of mankind, simply heating water was almost impossible due to the fact that pots and pans and other types of cookware were not readily available. While there are certainly tremendous amounts of evidence from archaeological digs that the earliest pots and pans were made from clay, even before these different types of clay pots and pans were invented, mankind had a need for the cooking of food. Without these pots and pans, food was quite often cooked in all manner of bizarre methods, including heating up rocks and then laying the food on the rocks or cooking over an open flame, similar to the way we cook marshmallows in the modern day. Quite often, the food was simply eaten raw. Without cookware is easy to see that some of these unappealing and difficult methods of preparing food were necessary to our ancestors.

Today, pots and pans are so advanced that the work involved in cooking has almost been completely eliminated. The preparation involved in cooking now includes pushing a switch and watching the food closely to ensure that it does not burn. With the right kind of cookware, even the close attention is not always necessary. Compared to chopping wood and building a huge fire, the whole concept of pushing a switch seems extremely appealing. With modern-day pots and pans, there is a tremendous amount of ease involved in preparing food compared with primitive man.

Of course, when people discuss revolutionary technology, cooking rarely comes up. You might not realize it, but pots and pans have incorporated all manner of new technology to come up with crock pots, slow cookers and even pressure cookers, which are used in canning and preserving food. With modern-day food preparation and all the different types of products available, it is easy to see that we have far outstripped the original concept by leaps and bounds. Considering that even with the clay pots and pans of the early days, these types of items were not always so easy to come across. It required skill to manufacture the clay pots and pans and even as steel became available, pots and pans still were not all that common. What we take for granted in the modern day was quite often almost impossible to come across for our ancestors.

Fortunately, along with the pace of civilization, the evolution of pots and pans has kept up nicely. With the ability to prepare food on nonstick surfaces in stainless steel pots and pans and other types of modern-day cookware implements, the modern day cook can focus solely on preparation of the food, rather than dealing with all of the external and peripheral difficulties of primitive life. Rather than piling up firewood and starting a fire, the modern-day cook simply turns on the stove burner. In primitive times, the food would have been cooked on a spit or laid on a flat hot rock. Today, we simply chuck these products into a pan and set the timer, confident that our food will be cooked correctly thanks to modern technology. With such modern conveniences, it is no surprise that so few people make the effort to go back to nature and live on the land as our forebears were so accustomed to.

The technological evolution of pots and pans might be something that you overlook on a regular basis, but without the massive leaps in technology that we have made over the years, we would very likely be cooking food over an open fire still today. With all the wonders of modern technology, one of the things we take for granted most often is the way in which we prepare our food. Without this focus on food preparation and advancement, we would very likely still be cooking foods on a rock and subjecting ourselves to all manner of parasites and unclean preparation techniques.

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