New Scientist has an interesting article on the possible evolution of cooking. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23230980-600-what-was-the-first-cooked They mention some of the archaelogocial evdence for cooking, some of which predates Homo sapiens. Cooking can destroy some nutrition, but also makes other nutrients more readily available. Humans have a "short" digestive ract so cooking is essential to get enough out of the food in the time we do digest. There are arguments (no proof) that cooking allowed Homo sapiens to diverge and support our large and hungry brains. The other apes also exhbit a preference for cooked food. But the final part of the article is about the Maillard reaction which presents some conundrums.