Fruits and vegetables give us energy and strength to play, run and grow. However, before turning into energy they have to face a long journey in our body. Along the way there is the intestine that houses a large ecosystem composed of billions of microorganisms, belonging to hundreds of bacterial species. The “microbiota” plays a fundamental role in chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, allergies, neurodegenerative and aging-related diseases. Researchers from Fondazione Edmund Mach are studying how bacteria can help us digest fruit and vegetables, to give us vitamins, fiber and polyphenols.

To bring young people closer to the research carried out in Fondazione Edmund Mach (@fondazionemach), creating awareness in the importance of adopting healthy diet and healthy lifestyles, the story “The Great Vitaminic Journey” has been designed: it features a small blueberry and its adventure inside our body. The graphic novel has the aim of promoting a playful awareness of the importance of fruit in nutrition. Thanks to the collaboration started with the illustrator Sara Filippi Plotheger and the Nutrition and Nutrigenomics Unit of Research and Innovation Center at FEM (#FEM), a book has been created that is both an informative guide and an engaging illustrated story.

Mr. Mirtillus, a small but very brave blueberry, is a metaphor for conveying the goal of the E-STaR project (led by Anna Eriksson @annaerikssonfem) and the Food Lab Trentino (#FoodLabTrentino) activities in educating the new generation towards healthy and sustainable diets, raising awareness for making them conscious citizens and consumers. The initiative stems from the E-STaR project with the funding of the provincial call “STAR science communicators”.