Humans could survive on a diet of raw food. However, cooking and smoking food greatly extend the menu available to us because these processes destroy inedible, biter and toxic substances. Some plants are even indigestible until their constituents are broken down by cooking. Furthermore, heat kills off any germs and smoked foods keep for considerably longer than fresh food does.
Air-drying delicately flavored Parma ham for the luxury end of the food industry.