Grasshopper Consumer 2
Here is another example of some of the ways we can market the grasshopper and get the protein and nutritional content to the world. This can be done through companies like Six Foods where they process crickets with flour to create cricket flour; where they produce edible meals like cookies and chirps. As Agrifeeders produce grasshoppers and sell the Hopper Cage, the grasshoppers from farmers and our company can be converted into by-products through companies like Six Foods and help diminish nutrition deficiencies.
The Mexican restaurant named Toloache in New York has been offering tacos that entail fried grasshoppers instead of fish or chicken. Reviews have shown that many people enjoy such a delicacy. This is one example of how the potential of the Hopper Cage can reach international boundaries through linkages
The Hopper Cage provides side advantages for the user besides supplying an alternative protein source. We basically wanted to provide a system where the user can easily rear grasshoppers productively and sustainably without much cost and labor. Some of them are:
1) Economically viable system- Establishment and inputs of the Hopper Cage are very little since the cage operates by itself. Grasshoppers are fed through live grass and reproduce on their own. LED lights provide conditions for optimal growth. Occasionally, live grass may be needed if the live grasses are eaten away, or the cage can be moved to another location (feed costs mitigated).
2) Weed Control - Farmers can place several cages over their farm so grasshoppers can feed on weeds. Grasshoppers can known for eating a lot of grasses rapidly and can eliminate poisonous weeds.
3) Can host other insects - Since half of the world has turned to insects as food this concept can be also used for locusts and crickets and any other insects that feeds on grass as there are markets for these as well.
Marketing of Grasshoppers and The Hopper Cage
According to Food and Agriculture Organization there are markets for insects in the world today. Although it will require considerable convincing to reverse this mentality, it is not an impossible feat (Pliner and Salvy, 2006). Hence, the Hopper Cage not only provides an alternative protein source but to encourage the world in the consumption and rearing of insects. Other advantages of the Hopper Cage such as weed control and little to no input in actual rearing would motivate farmers to start production. Through the demand for exotic foods, by-products, medicinal benefits and pet food of the Western world, the commercialization of the Hopper Cage can be enhanced further.
On our quest for expert feedback, we interacted with familiar faces. Consultation was undertaken with two lecturers at the University of the West Indies as well as the President of the Agribusiness Society (ABS) of the University.
1)Dr. Isaac, Lecturer from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture: "Rearing insects is a good idea. It hasn't been explored in this country but it's emerging in other countries. Insects are relatively high in protein so it's definitely a good venture to use it as food." In light of our design statement and ideas triggered concerning the need for high protein, this advice reassured us that we are heading in the right direction.
2)ABS President: He gave us feedback on the design of our desired testing equipment. He elaborated that while it is important to have the required insects, much research must be done to feed and take care of them properly. Furthermore, it was questioned, "How efficient is your system of collecting or catching them?"
3)During the ideate mode, the question was brought to our attention, "How might we find an equilibrium between the availability/accessibility of food and its nutrient content?" Having our users in mind and engaging in further discussion and sharing of ideas, we took another lecturer's advice into consideration. With his in depth knowledge of insects and food production, he shared that our users have high availability of the food source and should be able to access it. However, their lack of investment and awareness of it,adds to the disequilibrium with nutrient needs. It is important that AgriFeeders try to restore equilibrium as it is a highly prolific food source which can meet nutrient needs.