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The Musical Snails of Demetra: Boosting Heliciculture with Classical Tunes


RIMINI – “Snails? They’re aficionados of music.” These are the words of Daniele Bartocci, a 35-year-old originally from Rome, who settled in Romagna over a decade ago. On the foothills of Rimini, he established Demetra, one of the largest heliciculture farms in Emilia-Romagna, spanning an entire hectare dedicated to these little mollusks. "We nurture them with symphonies from Mozart and Beethoven,” emphasizing their inclination for classical music. This method has proven “extremely beneficial” both for the production of cosmetic slime and for the culinary use of snail meat.

Managed using the Sicilian “Madonita” technique, Demetra practices organic, natural-cycle heliciculture. The farm is entirely "stress-free" and "cruelty-free", feeding snails with organic vegetables cultivated in their natural habitat without the use of chemicals or pesticides. An advanced irrigation system perfectly replicates the natural dew. Furthermore, with music therapy, positive effects are noticed in the snails’ emotional state. Even though snails perceive sounds differently, with a broader frequency range compared to humans, music impacts their nervous system similarly. Bartocci mentions that the widely recognized “therapeutic” frequency of 432 Hertz, favored by Mozart, Verdi, and even Pink Floyd, seems to be especially “beneficial” for snails. Alongside, all frequencies that are multiples of eight Hertz have shown potential benefits. Some studies suggest these frequencies promote harmonious balance between humans, animals, and nature.

The farm, situated far from urban centers, can play music at specific decibels and frequencies even during nighttime. This not only benefits the snails but also helps in keeping their natural predators, like mice and snakes, at bay. Interestingly, when confronted with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, these predators tend to “keep their distance”. Snails aren’t the only animals with a penchant for music; hens, chickens, cows, and other livestock also exhibit similar preferences. Introducing music in heliciculture isn't groundbreaking. Back in 2016, in Morengo, biologist Nunzio Romano highlighted, “Music is a universal language. Before appealing to intellect, it connects with the unconscious of all living beings. Snails require specific conditions to thrive and reproduce, primarily tranquility and harmony.” Additionally, the international heliciculture institute of Cuneo, a European reference for snail farming, validates the connection between classical music, animals, and plants through scientific evidence and tangible results.

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