Alfredo Díaz Cano, Raymundo Lozano Retiz, and José Eduardo Cedillo García, from the faculties of Economics, Accounting and Administration, and Sciences, respectively, launched the project known as Chapi (from the word “Chapulines”, with products based on vegetable protein and grasshoppers, “a safe, nutritious and economic option”, affirmed Lozano Retiz.
Chapi substitutes meat with “Chapulines” – a grasshopper endemic to Mexico – a food rich in protein. The FAO recognized that eating insects could end hunger in the world. According to a report, many species have as much protein as meat, and since they are cheap to produce, the body encourages their consumption by both humans and animals
Young people try to adapt to the income of their buyers. Each hamburger costs 85 Mexican pesos (3.25 euros) or two for 150 (5.64 euros), but at the university they have promotions of one for 60 pesos (2.26 euros).
Likewise, the students seek to achieve a “totally sustainable business model, to help the producers themselves,” says Lozano. For now, their grasshopper supplier is in the state of Oaxaca (in the south of the country) but they hope to set up their own hatchery, for which they have had the support of researchers and entomologists from UNAM, says Díaz.
“We plan to build a farm in Chimalhuacán (state of Mexico),” says Cedillo. “It requires little space,” he adds. One cubic meter is enough to grow five to ten kilograms of grasshoppers, according to him.