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Fatsileni, from Africa who dreams of becoming a journalist

Culture / -

save the children africa imm rif
Save The Children

She is ten years old, lives in Malawi, and has learned to read and write with a plan in mind: to become a journalist. She has been able to read many books with help from Save The Children, which has raised awareness in the African community on the importance of reading.

Fatsileni is a 10-year-old girl with her mind set on a dream. Fatsileni would like to become a journalist one day. It is all that she has ever wanted to be since she learnt how to read and write.
When she is not playing netball, cleaning dishes or helping her family sell fried fish at the market, Fatsileni can be found reading a book or teaching her friends how to read and write. At times, she thinks back to her life before Save the Children programs arrived at her school. She was not as happy as she is now. It reminds her to be thankful.
 
She takes every opportunity to do it
“Before Save the Children came around, there was hardly anything to read,” she said. Today, Fatsileni cannot picture a world that does not involve reading. She takes every opportunity to do it. She spends a lot of time at a Save the Children program called Buddy System, which is where friends help each other how to become better at reading and writing. In Malawi, a big challenge in primary schools is that a lot of children do not know how to read and write. Save the Children helps teachers and community leaders by training them on different, fun, innovative ways of teaching children in schools and also in camps. Because of this, a lot more children are now learning how to read and write.
 
She will continue learning
In the coming year, Fatsileni plans to do better in school. Her grades dropped from last year and she is not happy about that. She knows that her journey in reaching her goal starts with her performance in school. Fatsileni has her eyes on the prize. She wants to be a journalist and she will continue learning because she knows that’s what it will take to get there. 
 
 

Giovanni Visci. Feeding the mind and the heart: nutrition for growth

Lifestyle / -

At Expo Milano 2015 the pediatrician and child psychiatrist moderated the conference entitled "Feeding the mind and the heart", aimed at raising awareness and provide training for professionals working with children and young people on the fundamental role that nutrition plays in our growth and development. In this interview he explains why food is important in terms of both psycho-emotional and social well-being, and how to pass on the message to children that food isn't just nourishment for the body, but also for the soul, and for the heart.

Spruce beer, litchen bread and birch flour. The infinite flavors of wild food

Taste / -

Birra d’abete, pane ai licheni e farina di betulla. Le infinite sfumature di gusto del cibo selvatico.
© Stefano Tosoni

A new way to enjoy nature and experience the local area, foraging entails walking through woods, meadows and mountains to gather the wonderful ingredients that appear spontaneously in the wild, and without any help from man. How to create a tasty and sustainable menu with what nature provides all by itself.

Valeria Moscow is 35 years old and has a passion: protecting nature and gathering everything that grows in the wild to show us that it is possible to eat well with what our forests, meadows and mountains give us.
 
A concentration of flavors
It’s not an easy job. You have to have a good knowledge of wild herbs to avoid collecting ingredients that are in any way poisonous. However, overcoming this challenge, nature repays us with a wealth of different tastes, which if not experienced firsthand are difficult to imagine. Wild foods, in fact, are able to absorb the earth’s energy, resulting in a concentration of real flavors and a unique intensity.
 
The many possibilities of wild food
Valeria decided not to keep this passion just to herself, but to turn it into something concrete which could trigger a range of initiatives that investigate the infinite possibilities of wild food. In 2012 Wood*ing was born a nonprofit "laboratory" – sponsored by Expo Milano 2015 and the European Commission – which aims to protect and preserve the biodiversity of nature.
 
Study and knowledge
The first step is research: observing, cataloging, gathering wild foods, studying the organoleptic and beneficial properties of each herb, plant, fruit, seed, leaf or root. Then one needs to think about how each food can be stored and processed so it can be transformed into an ingredient of a dish.
 
A tasty menu
Gathering the foods while respecting the seasons, Valeria and her team create a tasty menu based on experimenting with new cooking and conservation techniques. So, not only a new concept for the kitchen but a new way to stay in contact with the land. Through simple, fresh and honest ingredients we rediscover the ancient flavors which were common to our ancestors, but today, accustomed as we are to processed foods, we have forgotten.
 
Lichen bread and spruce beer
To give you some examples, you could begin your meal with a forest broth based on lichen, iceland moss and juniper, continue with a risotto made from larch, then some artic char roe accompanied by wild artic char with leaves, and finish with something sweet, perhaps enjoying an ice cream made from wood sorrel, or biscuits made from bitter conifer bark flour, salt and wild fennel. In your bread basket you could find lichens cooked in the ground and in your glass, birch sap flavored with elderberry, fermented bark syrup and spruce beer.
 
Nature’s produce
Depending on the season, you can gather mountain pine and beech buds, pine resin, willow and ash bark, the leaves of arbutus and spruce trees as well as wild garlic. Among the most special is birch, oak and ash flour and mountain lettuce.
 
Ethical food and respect for biodiversity
Wood*ing is proof that ethical food and respect for the land and biodiversity can lead to enterprising initiatives that boost the economy without surrendering to mass production. It starts from something small and humble, it’s true, but, after all, doesn’t everything start from a single bud?
 

Over a million people are already #FoodConscious. What about you?

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