Humans are unique in many ways. Anthropologist Alyssa Crittenden believes that it is the evolutionary links between nutrition, reproduction, and our amazing capacity for cooperation that truly make us human. Here, she chronicles her time living among one of the world’s few remaining hunting and gathering populations, the Hadza of Tanzania, exploring the intersection of diet and childrearing.
Alyssa Crittenden is an anthropologist and is currently the Lincy Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In order to answer some of the burning questions about what makes the human species unique, she studies the links between nutrition, growth and development, family formation, and child rearing in small-scale societies. For over ten years, she has worked among the Hadza foragers of Tanzania, researching topics such as diet composition, the gut microbiome, women’s reproduction, childhood, and parenting strategies among hunters and gatherers.
A strong advocate for science education for the public, she has appeared on National Public Radio, television programs, and documentaries and gives talks to museums and middle school and high school science students. Her work is published in top-tier academic journals and has been highlighted in popular outlets, such as The Smithsonian, National Geographic, the BBC, and Psychology Today.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at