I grew up in the countryside near Bergamo, a city in the north of Italy. I have always loved and taken care of animals: horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, goats and so on. My grandparents taught me the art of hunting and cooking. They were good farmers and fantastic cooks. My mother studied agriculture and introduced me to the world of plants and horticulture. My father, on the other hand, was an entrepreneur and had a pest control company. But at that time, insects were not my passion. I never dreamed of becoming a scientist, biologist or entomologist.
MY PASSION, MY CULTURE
I always dreamed of becoming an actress. That’s why I studied languages and theater in Rome. I started working with the project “Teatro a domicilio” and established my own concept of storytelling.
In Berlin, I later acted in the documentary theater piece: Bloody-Medium oder Durch in the well known Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. Five migrants and I tell why we came to Berlin and how we approached culinary interests. A restaurant is like a theater: real life on a stage, food and drink are the main actors, and every evening is a show.
By experiencing other food cultures firsthand, I developed an awareness of the food I could find in Berlin. I began to think more and more about what I eat, where it comes from, and how it is processed. Food is a delicate and personal decision. I respect every opinion. And I have mine, too. I don’t eat everything, but I try everything. For example, I don’t eat oysters, some mollusks, some offal, persimmons….the mushy texture bothers me, but not the thought of what it is. Our mind plays an important role in our decisions. I don’t think I will ever be vegan or vegetarian. In my perception of nature, plants have feelings too. To me it makes no difference if I eat a carrot, a cricket or a chicken. They are all living beings, like me, and I respect them. I consciously cherish their souls. I am grateful for their sacrifice. I eat only what my body really needs and try to waste as little food as possible.
LOVE AT THE FIRST BITE…
I have always been aware of the insects around me, but I have never paid much attention to them. Basically, I am afraid of them. When a bee is next to me, I react impulsively like many other people and make hysterical movements. “If you move, it will sting you!” – Everyone knows this simple rule, but sometimes it’s hard to control yourself. It is a struggle between consciousness and instinct. The same battle I had to win when I ate my first insect, a grasshopper…. I tried my first insect in 2016 as a challenge with Diego when we worked together at the restaurant La Cevicheria, and it was love at first bite. Delicious and crunchy! Not mushy at all! The taste of dried grass immediately reminded me of my home, of my country life.
A FUTURE FULL OF INSECTS
During my travels in Thailand I saw people eating insects, but honestly I never thought they could be really delicious. My curiosity started to grow and I learned new things about insects and entomophagy every day. I attended several summits about edible insects and the future sources of protein around the world. I understood that eating insects is a good step to preserve the planet, but beyond that we need to change the way we consume. There are too many financial interests behind the food industry. Therefore, it is very difficult to eat something really healthy.
In my opinion, we should try to get in touch with nature and return to our own agriculture. I live in the city, in an apartment without a garden, but still I see that there are wonderful projects that develop in-farming structures and new solutions to grow your own food in a small space, not only vegetables but also animals. For example, insects. I took a course in Switzerland on growing organic insects and for five years I have been producing my own proteins at home on 2 m² with a reduced consumption of energy and water. It’s unusual, it’s futuristic, it’s a far cry from my grandparents’ idea of farming … but it is possible.
Thanks to the communication skills I developed during my studies, I began to think that environmental issues could be communicated in a creative and innovative way. MicroKosmos thus became a synergy of my past and my current life. I bring together my experiences in storytelling, gastronomy and the world of my childhood. Through my activities, events and blogzine, I participate in the current global debate about eating insects. MikroKosmos is more than an online platform. It is my answer to global issues and tries to promote new ideas and solutions for the preservation of life on Earth.