In August 2018, the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA) organized a 3-d conference, Eating Insects Athens, in Athens, GA. The conference built on the success of the 2016 event, Eating Insects Detroit, and highlighted progress in both research and industry linked to insect agriculture. NACIA was created as a platform to strengthen an industry currently in its infancy. Goals of NACIA include, but are not limited to, promoting discussion about insect agriculture, educating, and streamlining efforts aimed at developing quality products for consumption by humans, livestock, poultry, or aquaculture. The 3-d Eating Insects Athens conference consisted of presentations, outreach events, and small group sessions to further develop the mission of NACIA. This overview article highlights some of the topics discussed at the conference, including optimizing production systems, developing standard operating procedures related to quality assurance, and investigating key issues such as palatability and bioavailability of insect nutrients, allergenicity, animal welfare, and ethics. Such research has the potential to improve the environmental impacts, resource efficiency, public acceptance, and regulatory approval of insect agriculture. Though the field and study of insect agriculture is young, the increased interest in research indicates a promising future.
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