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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3:50am

Fri May 22, 2015
The Salt

Adios, Trans Fats: FDA Poised To Phase Out Artery-Clogging Fat

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 7:32 am

Various food items that contained trans fats in November 2013. That month, the Food and Drug Administration first announced plans to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. A final rule is expected any day now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The case against trans fats is not new. For years, health experts have been telling us to avoid them.

And as retailing behemoths such as Wal-Mart have committed to the removal of all remaining, industrially produced trans fats in the products they sell, the food industry has stepped up its pace to reformulate its offerings.

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6:08pm

Wed May 20, 2015
The Salt

McMadness: Activists Pile On At McDonald's Shareholders Meeting

Demonstrators march on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., on Wednesday, demanding a wage increase to $15 per hour.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Whoa, I wouldn't want to be Steve Easterbrook right about now.

The newish CEO of McDonald's β€” who has pledged to turn the fast-food giant into a progressive burger chain β€” is getting an earful this week, as the company prepares to convene its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

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3:30am

Wed May 20, 2015
The Salt

Pollinator Politics: Environmentalists Criticize Obama Plan To Save Bees

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:09 pm

The White House announced an action plan Tuesday aimed at reversing dramatic declines in pollinators like honeybees, which play a vital role in agriculture, pollinating everything from apples and almonds to squash.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The buzz around bees has been bad lately. As we've reported, beekeepers say they lost 42 percent of honeybee colonies last summer.

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5:35pm

Fri May 15, 2015
The Salt

USDA To Certify Non-GMO Foods With New Label

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 6:40 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will verify companies' claims of using non-GMO ingredients through its Process Verified Program.
USDA/AMS

If you want to know if the beef you're buying is grassfed, there's a U.S. Department of Agriculture label for that. The agency is also behind the nation's biggest certified organic label, and an antibiotic-free one, too.

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6:01pm

Thu May 14, 2015
The Salt

From Scornin' It To Lovin' It: McDonald's Tests Out Kale On Its Menu

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 6:31 pm

Kale is not only loaded with nutrients, but it's become a emblem of a healthy lifestyle that's increasingly appealing to Americans ready to move away from processed, high-calorie food.
Peet Sneekes/Flickr

Just a few months ago McDonald's was showing no love for kale.

In a TV ad promoting the beefiness of the Big Mac, the chain poked fun at the leafy green and other vegetarian fare: "You can't get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa," a low voice quips as the camera focuses on a juicy burger. "Nor will it ever be kale."

But the chain is now showing it some affection. McDonald's has announced that it's testing a new breakfast bowl that blends kale and spinach with turkey sausage and egg whites. McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb says the bowls are "freshly prepared."

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5:06pm

Tue May 12, 2015
The Salt

Brain Boost: Mediterranean Diet May Fend Off Memory Loss

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 6:44 pm

A whole range of foods in common in the Mediterranean diet β€” from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables β€” are rich in antioxidants and may protect against cognitive decline.
iStockphoto

If you've ever walked out of the house without your phone and wallet β€” as I did yesterday β€” you might have wondered: Am I starting to lose it?

Even if you're too young for any real concern about dementia, this kind of precursor to a "senior moment" can be rattling.

But a new study suggests we're not powerless when it comes to keeping our mental acuity and memory intact.

Researchers have documented that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fish, whole grains, along with daily servings of nuts and olive oil can help fend off age-related cognitive decline.

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2:21pm

Fri May 8, 2015
The Salt

Promises, Promises: Is Big Food Marketing Less Junk To Kids On TV?

TV marketing that pushes foods high in salt, sugar and fat to children can put their long-term health at risk, according to past research. So has Big Food changed its ways?
iStockphoto

It's not hard to connect the dots between what kids see on TV and what they eat. Advertising works.

And researchers have documented that marketing practices that push items like sugary cereals, salted snacks and fast food put children's long-term health at risk, by promoting unhealthy eating habits.

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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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