Allison Aubrey

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News. Aubrey is a 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards nominee for her broadcast radio coverage of food and nutrition. And, along with her colleagues on The Salt, winner of a 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. Her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also host of the NPR video series Tiny Desk Kitchen.

Through her reporting Aubrey can focus on her curiosities about food and culture. She has investigated the nutritional, and taste, differences between grass fed and corn feed beef. Aubrey looked into the hype behind the claims of antioxidants in berries and the claim that honey is a cure-all for allergies.

In 2009, Aubrey was awarded both the American Society for Nutrition's Media Award for her reporting on food and nutrition. She was honored with the 2006 National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism in radio and earned a 2005 Medical Evidence Fellowship by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Knight Foundation. She was a 2009 Kaiser Media Fellow in focusing on health.

Joining NPR in 1998 as a general assignment reporter Aubrey spent five years covering environmental policy, as well as contributing to coverage of Washington, D.C., for NPR's National Desk.

Before coming to NPR, Aubrey was a reporter for PBS' NewsHour. She has worked in a variety of positions throughout the television industry.

Aubrey received her bachelor's of arts degree from Denison University in Granville, OH, and a master's of arts degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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6:47pm

Wed April 22, 2015
The Salt

Buzz Over Bee Health: New Pesticide Studies Rev Up Controversy

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:58 am

A honeybee forages for nectar and pollen from an oilseed rape flower.
Albin Andersson/Nature

It has been about a decade since beekeepers and scientists began documenting a decline in honeybee populations and other important pollinators.

Even if you're not a lover of bees or honey, you should know that bees are critically important to our food supply. They help pollinate billions of dollars of crops each year, from apples and carrots to blueberries and almonds.

So if bees are threatened, ultimately, the production of these crops will be threatened, too.

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4:58pm

Fri April 17, 2015
The Salt

Running A Marathon? How To Eat and Drink So You Don't Hit The Wall

Performance nutrition experts recommend stopping at all the hydration stations for a quick fill-up of a sports drink to replenish the glycogen that's being burned during a marathon.
iStockphoto

Elite runners know the drill. When you run a marathon, you've got to consume extra amounts of carbohydrate β€” either from food or energy gels or energy drinks β€” in order to go the distance.

And if you don't fuel up enough? You may hit the wall during the big event, which, believe me, is pretty miserable.

The wall comes on abruptly. Suddenly your legs feel like lead. And then you're woozy.

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3:49am

Thu April 16, 2015
Shots - Health News

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:17 am

Paul Taylor Getty Images

A common pain medication might make you go from "so cute!" to "so what?" when you look at a photo of a kitten. And it might make you less sensitive to horrifying things, too. It's acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Researchers say the drug might be taking the edge off emotions β€” not just pain.

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4:00pm

Thu April 2, 2015
The Salt

Sodium Sleuths: Do Southerners Eat More Salt Than The Rest Of Us?

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:02 pm

The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is β€” perhaps surprisingly β€” the top contributor of sodium to our diets.
iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

It's not the salt shakers on our tables that explain why Americans consume way too much sodium. It's the processed foods we buy in grocery stores.

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4:44pm

Wed March 25, 2015
The Salt

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 12:58 pm

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

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3:33am

Mon March 23, 2015
Shots - Health News

Rethinking Alcohol: Can Heavy Drinkers Learn To Cut Back?

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:34 am

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

The thinking about alcohol dependence used to be black and white. There was a belief that there were two kinds of drinkers: alcoholics and everyone else.

"But that dichotomy β€” yes or no, you have it or you don't β€” is inadequate," says Dr. John Mariani, who researches substance abuse at Columbia University. He says that the thinking has evolved, and that the field of psychiatry recognizes there's a spectrum.

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3:12am

Wed March 18, 2015
The Salt

Do TV Cooking Shows Make Us Fat?

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 1:37 pm

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis during a guest appearance on ABC's The Chew last fall. She can cook rich foods and keep her trim figure, but new research suggests that's a difficult feat for amateur cooks watching along at home.
Lou Rocco ABC/Getty Images

If you've ever watched Giada de Laurentiis make gooey chocolate-hazelnut spread or a rich carbonara pasta dish, you may have wondered: How can she cook like this and maintain her slim figure?

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11:12am

Wed March 11, 2015
The Salt

How Big Sugar Steered Research On A 'Tooth Decay Vaccine'

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:18 pm

Garry Gay Getty Images

Sugar can promote tooth decay. Duh.

So if you want good oral health, it makes sense to brush and floss regularly and perhaps limit the amount of sugar you consume. Right?

In 2015, this may seem fairly obvious.

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4:18am

Tue March 10, 2015
The Salt

Circadian Surprise: How Our Body Clocks Help Shape Our Waistlines

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:18 pm

Katherine Streeter for NPR

We've long known about the master clock in our brains that helps us maintain a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.

But in recent years, scientists have made a cool discovery: We have different clocks in virtually every organ of our bodies β€” from our pancreas to our stomach to our fat cells.

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5:01pm

Fri March 6, 2015
The Salt

Voluptuous Veg: Can Food Porn Seed Lust For Healthy Eating?

A "ballet" of Brussels sprouts dazzles at the Food Porn Index, a site that tracks which foods are trending in social media part of an effort to heighten the appeal of healthy eating.
via Bolthouse Farms

Sorry to be so risquΓ©, but beautiful photos of tempting foods can make our mouths water.

Think molten spoonfuls of chocolate, voluptuous layer cake or melted cheese oozing from a perfectly grilled croque monsieur.

We're awash in these types of food porn images. But, by comparison, do pictures of Brussels sprouts or beets get as much love online?

Nope. According to Bolthouse Farms, which markets baby carrots and fresh juices, of the more than 1.7 million food images posted daily, only about one-third are of fruits and vegetables.

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5:57pm

Wed March 4, 2015
The Salt

Dump The Lumps: The World Health Organization Says Eat Less Sugar

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 6:14 pm

Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Sugar is sweet.

But too much of it can expand our waistlines, rot our teeth and increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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4:38pm

Thu February 26, 2015
The Salt

Will The Dietary Guidelines Consider The Planet? The Fight Is On

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:40 pm

A government-appointed panel concluded in a recent report that Americans should eat less red meat and processed meat. A more plant-focused diet is better for health and the environment, it found.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

When it comes to eating well, we should consider the health of our bodies and the planet. This was the recommendation coming from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on Feb. 19.

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5:40pm

Thu February 19, 2015
The Salt

Nutrition Panel: Egg With Coffee Is A-OK, But Skip The Side Of Bacon

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:13 pm

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says in a new report that Americans should shift to a pattern of eating that includes more plant-based foods.
Jennifer/Flickr

If you like a cup of coffee and an egg in the morning, you've got the green light.

A panel of top nutrition experts appointed by the federal government has weighed in with its long-awaited diet advice.

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3:26am

Thu February 19, 2015
The Salt

Chocolate Makeover: Nestle Dumps Artificial Colorings

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Nestle announced that it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products β€” including the dyes used to give the inside of a Butterfinger, like this one, that orange hue.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars β€” including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger β€” are about to get an ingredient makeover. Nestle USA announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

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4:35pm

Wed February 11, 2015
Fitness & Nutrition

New Dietary Guidelines May Lighten Caution Against Cholesterol

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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12:07pm

Fri February 6, 2015
The Salt

Outrage Over Government's Animal Experiments Leads To USDA Review

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 2:43 pm

Cattle raised at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb. A New York Times investigation of animal suffering at the federal research center has prompted a USDA review.
Nati Harnik AP

Revelations about animal suffering at a federal animal research facility have sure gotten the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

They've also prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the facility through its Agricultural Research Service, to name its first ever animal welfare ombudsman β€” as well as review and update its animal welfare strategy.

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3:29pm

Tue February 3, 2015
The Salt

Love Hot Sauce? Your Personality May Be A Good Predictor

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 11:05 am

Ready to feel the burn? Check out our tips for tiptoeing into hot sauce.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

A Myers-Briggs personality test can help you determine whether you're an extrovert. But could your love of hot sauce reveal something about your temperament, too?

As we have reported, back in the 1980s, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania named Paul Rozin documented a connection between liking roller coasters and liking spicy food.

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2:06pm

Mon January 19, 2015
The Salt

From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

When it comes to detox diets, we totally get the appeal.

Who's not drawn to the idea of flushing all the toxins out of our bodies β€” a sort of spring cleaning of our insides?

And yes, several years back, I even remember trying β€” if only for a day β€” the trendy cayenne-pepper liquid cleanse (as seen in this Mindy Kaling clip from The Office) as part of a cleansing/detox diet.

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5:47pm

Mon January 12, 2015
The Salt

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 5:20 pm

If you've ever gone to sleep hungry and then dreamed of chocolate croissants, the idea of fasting may seem completely unappealing.

But what if the payoff for a 16-hour fast β€” which might involve skipping dinner, save a bowl of broth β€” is a boost in energy and a decreased appetite?

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4:19pm

Tue January 6, 2015
The Salt

From Paleo To Plant-Based, New Report Ranks Top Diets Of 2015

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 8:11 am

The Mediterranean-like DASH and the plant-centric Ornish eating plan topped this year's rankings of diets by a panel assembled by U.S. News & World Report.
Gillian Blease Getty Images/Ikon Images

Despite the buzz about paleo and raw food diets, a new ranking of the 35 top diets puts these two near the bottom of the list.

Why?

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5:51pm

Fri January 2, 2015
The Salt

A Resolution For Foodies Who Want To Do Good: Pick A Campaign

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 5:40 pm

Say you're kicking off 2015 with big plans to be a conscientious food consumer.

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4:20pm

Tue December 30, 2014
The Salt

Hangover Helper: Tips To Prevent A Horrible Headache

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 6:45 pm

Seeing double after toasting? Just wait for the hangover that's coming, thanks in part to those bubbles in sparkling wine.
Chris Nickels for NPR

The first time I ever got tipsy was during a champagne toast at a cousin's wedding reception.

All was good, until the room started spinning β€” and the sight of my cousin's bride dancing in her wedding dress was just a whirl of lace.

Of course, if you're an uninitiated teenager, any amount of alcohol can go straight to your head. But, decades later, bubbly wine still seems to hit me faster than, say, beer. It turns out there's a reason.

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3:16am

Mon December 29, 2014
The Salt

Not Just A Man's Drink: Ladies Lead The Whiskey Renaissance

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 2:50 pm

Women at a whiskey tasting at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences on May 3, 2012, in Miami Beach, Fla.
Aaron Davidson Getty Images for W South Beach Hotel & Residences

What do Lady Gaga and Rihanna have in common with Founding Father George Washington? Whiskey.

Yes, our first commander in chief distilled the popular spirit. And these pop icons are helping to fuel a new female-driven whiskey renaissance.

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6:33am

Fri December 26, 2014
The Salt

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 1:07 pm

This copper engraving from approximately 1700 depicts the condition of the English prisoners at the hands of the Dutch. In the 1660s, Cornell University's Eric Tagliacozzo says, the conflict and competition for the spice trade came to a head. "The Dutch decapitated a number of English merchants who were also in the Spice Islands trying to profit from the trade."
WikiCommons

Ah, nutmeg! Whether it's sprinkled on eggnog, baked into spice cake or blended into a latte, this pungent spice can evoke memories of holidays past.

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5:52pm

Wed December 10, 2014
The Salt

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:00 am

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill β€” aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill β€” includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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4:17pm

Tue December 9, 2014
The Salt

Venison As Benison: Food Banks Score From Deer Overpopulation

Ralph Roloff trims meat from a deer donated to the Help Us Stop Hunger program in State Center, Iowa in 2007.
Scott Olson Getty Images

White tailed deer are so common in Washington, D.C., that my kids barely take note, even if I have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.

But the National Park Service says there's a problem beyond the risk of driver-deer collisions, which lead to an estimated $4 billion in damages each year. The overabundance of deer are a threat to native vegetation.

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6:56pm

Thu December 4, 2014
The Salt

A Burger Joint Pays $15 An Hour. And, Yes, It's Making Money

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:56 am

A worker at Moo Cluck Moo, a fast-casual burger and chicken chain in suburban Detroit, prepares a meal. Workers at Moo Cluck Moo all make $15 an hour.
Zachary Rosen for NPR

Fast-food workers rallied around the country Thursday, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. But in suburban Detroit, a small but growing fast-casual burger and chicken chain has already figured out how to pay higher wages and still be profitable.

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6:23pm

Thu November 20, 2014
The Salt

Moderate Drinker Or Alcoholic? Many Americans Fall In Between

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 9:49 am

A lot of us make the assumption that there are two kinds of drinkers: moderate drinkers who have a glass of wine with dinner, and on the other end of the spectrum, alcoholics.

But this is not an accurate picture, according to researchers.

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6:05pm

Mon November 17, 2014
The Salt

Culinary Institute's School For 'Foodpreneurs' To Cook Up Innovation

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 6:34 pm

Revolution Foods makes healthy kids meals for both schools and stores. Co-founder Kristin Richmond says mentoring and support have been key to the success of her business.
Shelly Puri Courtesy of Revolution Foods

The Culinary Institute of America may be best known for churning out chefs. And some of its graduates β€” from Grant Achatz to Roy Choi to Anthony Bourdain β€” have succeeded in entertaining and inspiring a new generation of foodies.

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3:31am

Fri November 14, 2014
The Salt

Big Mayo Vs. Little Mayo: Which Brand Has Egg On Its Face?

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:03 pm

There have been no shortage of headlines recounting the legal kerfuffle unfolding over the definition of mayonnaise.

Global food giant Unilever, which owns the ubiquitous Hellmann's brand, is suing Hampton Creek, the maker of of Just Mayo, an egg-free spread made from peas, sorghum and other plants.

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