Mexican Entrepreneurs Tackle ObesityBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Wed, 12/16/2020 - 10:04
Obesity is a big threat to Mexican’s health, as the country is No. 1 in childhood obesity and No. 2 in adult obesity. The disease was declared a sanitary emergency in 2016 as 72.5 percent of adults and 15 percent of children in Mexico were obese or overweight. From then on, obesity numbers kept growing despite the many public and private initiatives to revert the trend. Prevention strategies have not been able to stick among the Mexican population, however, reported MBN. Adjusting behaviors in consumption can help to solve this obesity problem and two companies are already working on this.
Mexican entrepreneurs, Daniel Sánchez and Rafael Álvarez, wanted to find a healthy alternative to a popular food. “Dani thought about it when we were eating traditional instant soups. I told him we were eating quite poorly and he responded by telling me if I could imagine someone creating a healthier instant soup,” Álvarez told Entrepreneur. In 1958, Momofuku Andō invented instant cup noodles, a creation that revolutionized the Japanese food industry and took this food all over the world. Instant noodles are practical and convenient, which makes them very popular, but they also have high levels of sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG), both substances being detrimental for human health if not taken in moderation.
Sánchez and Álvarez created Ganu Alimentos to create healthier alternatives to this instant food. Their instant soup provides consumers with nine grams of protein, seven grams of dietary fiber, essential amino acids and 70 percent less sodium, no trans fats and no MSG, according to Ganu Alimentos’ website.
Another enterprise that wants to revolutionize Mexicans’ eating habits is Crick Superfoods, the first Ecuadorian startup to launch tortillas and nachos made out of protein powder derived from crickets. Francisca Castellanos, Founder and CEO of the company, wrote about her initiative on MBN. The design process of Crick Superfoods’ product is based on the attributes of Mexican culture and gastronomy. “Insects are an important source of protein, probiotics and fiber for human nutrition. Taking all those nutritional advantages, some startups use cricket protein powder as one of the main raw materials for developing high-protein products without whey, which has an environmental impact from cattle,” said the CEO on another MBN article. Using crickets as a source of protein is good not only for the health of consumers but also the environment, she said.