Allison Aubrey

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News. She contributes to The Salt, NPR's James Beard award-winning food blog. And her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's host of the NPR video series Tiny Desk Kitchen and has contributed to Shots, NPR's health blog.

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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6:04pm

Tue November 15, 2011
NPR Story

Lawmakers Consider Counting Pizza As a Veggie

Lawmakers say pizza and french fries deserve to keep their place in school cafeterias. New nutrition standards aimed at putting more fresh and healthy food in front of kids are being revised in a current House agriculture appropriations bill. The latest version says the tomato sauce on a slice of pizza is the equivalent of a vegetable. Critics are likening it to the "ketchup-as-a-vegetable-controversy" during the Reagan administration.

12:01am

Mon November 7, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Second Thoughts On Pills For Babies Who Spit Up

Babies have been crying and spitting up since time immemorial. But these days many parents ask: Isn't there a drug for that?

"Parents come in often demanding medication," says Eric Hassall, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco.

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5:03pm

Thu October 27, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Hormones And Metabolism Conspire Against Dieters

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 8:24 pm

iStockphoto.com

There are some fresh insights from Australia that help explain why it's so difficult for dieters to keep off the weight they lose.

Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven't run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge on our cars, that tell us when it's time to tank up on food.

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11:09am

Wed October 26, 2011
The Salt

Men Can Be Binge-Eaters, Too

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:20 pm

Male binge eaters were more likely to be depressed and obese than men who didn't binge, a study found.

Getty Images

When we think of eating disorders, the classic image is a waif-thin, anorexic woman.

But here's a question for men: Do you find yourself fasting after eating too much? Or maybe pushing through an insanely long run or workout, trying to compensate for overeating through intense exercise?

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7:59am

Sat October 22, 2011
The Salt

Drinking Whiskey In The Spirit Of George Washington

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 6:31 am

In a cavernous barn, distillers make whiskey with rye, corn and malted barley.

Melissa Forsyth NPR

Virginians have always enjoyed their liquor, and for much of the 18th century, their preferred drink was rum. But when war and tariffs made imported rum hard to come by, George Washington saw an opportunity. Why not make liquor out of grains he was growing on his farms?

"He was a businessman and he was a very, very successful one," says Dennis Pogue, the director of preservation programs at Mount Vernon.

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2:29pm

Wed October 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

IQ Isn't Set In Stone, Suggests Study That Finds Big Jumps, Dips In Teens

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 11:50 am

Brain researchers say the big fluctuations in IQ performance they found in teens were not random — or a fluke.

iStockphoto.com

For as long as there's been an IQ test, there's been controversy over what it measures. Do IQ scores capture a person's intellectual capacity, which supposedly remains stable over time? Or is the Intelligent Quotient exam really an achievement test — similar to the S.A.T. — that's subject to fluctuations in scores?

The findings of a new study add evidence to the latter theory: IQ seems to be a gauge of acquired knowledge that progresses in fits and starts.

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5:05pm

Thu September 22, 2011
The Salt

Farmers And Ranchers Reach Out To Talk To Consumers

It seems that all the big farm groups - from beef and pork producers to sugar and soybean growers — have been paying attention to those "Know Your Farmer" bumper stickers.

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3:30pm

Wed September 21, 2011
The Salt

'Biggest Loser' Nudges Many Viewers To Think Thin

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 3:33 pm

Contestants from NBC's "The Biggest Loser" do yoga in Auckland, New Zealand.
TRAE PATTON PR NEWSWIRE

Contestants on the Season 12 Premiere of TV's The Biggest Loser last night may not be the only people motivated to lose weight. Viewers are influenced by weight-loss reality shows, too.

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5:16pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

First Lady Leans On Darden Restaurants To Shave Calories Off Menus

Menus at Olive Garden and Red Lobster are about to get a health makeover. Darden Restaurants, which owns the brands, is the latest corporation to collaborate with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign aimed ending childhood obesity.

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12:01am

Wed September 14, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Fatal Car Crashes Drop For 16-Year-Olds, Rise For Older Teens

Richard Meehan, 16, with his car at his home in Shelton, Conn in 2008. Researchers say tougher licensing laws have led to fewer fatal car crashes involving 16-year-old drivers.
Bob Child ASSOCIATED PRESS

Terrified to see your teenager behind the wheel? You're not alone. But a new study finds tougher state licensing laws have led to a decrease in fatal accidents, at least among 16-year-olds. That's the good news.

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10:15am

Tue September 6, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Kids Of Parents Who Smoke At Home Miss More School

iStockphoto.com

About half of adult smokers who live with young children say they don't smoke in the house. But that leaves the rest who do.

And the children of these at-home smokers --according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics — are missing more days of school.

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12:01am

Thu September 1, 2011
Food

In Soda Revival, Fizzy Taste Bubbles Up From The Past

Phosphates and bitters, a mixture of herbs steeped in alcohol, are part of the revival of old-timey soda fountain drinks at places like PS7's in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

If you're hankering for something new to drink — something more interesting than the usual cocktail or soda — you may want to look to the past. Way back in the 19th century, pharmacists and soda-jerks created all sorts of exotic, lip-smacking sensations by mixing fizzy mineral water with unique blends of sweet syrups and bitters.

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12:01am

Mon August 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Simple Things To Do To Lessen Back-To-School Stomach Bugs

Researchers have found that when bottles of sanitizer and wipes were kept around schools and students were cued to use them, they ended up missing significantly fewer days due to stomach bugs.
iStockphoto.com

As kids head back to class the dreaded back-to-school bugs begin to spike. Sniffles and sneezes are inevitable, but there are also stomach bugs.

And parents may never have considered how one part of the morning routine may increase their children's odds of getting an upset stomach. It's the packing of lunch with just typical foods.

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4:53pm

Tue August 23, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Eating More Nuts And Soy May Help Beat High Cholesterol

Got high cholesterol? Soybeans might help.
iStockphoto.com

If you've got high cholesterol, you know the diet advice: Go easy on foods high in saturated fat like red meat and cheese, and eat lots of fiber and whole grains.

The message still holds up, but researchers say it's time to tweak the message.

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5:17pm

Thu August 18, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Goodbye, Mystery Meat? School Lunches Get More Healthful

Healthy fare is becoming more common in school cafeterias.
iStockPhoto.com

Kids may claim that Tater Tots are the only edible food in the school cafeteria, but in reality, school lunches are getting more healthful.

Almost all cafeterias now serve fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a survey of school food directors released Thursday. Whole grains are readily accessible in 97 percent of schools, and 89 percent of districts offer salad bars or pre-packaged salads. Gone are the days of full fat milk; virtually all districts offer skim or 1 percent.

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4:42pm

Wed August 10, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

To Dodge Diabetes: Go Light On The Hot Dogs And Bacon

Meat preservatives like nitrites and sodium have been linked to insulin resistance, which might explain the link between Type 2 diabetes and high consumption of these meats, researchers say.
iStockphoto.com

Let's begin with some well-worn advice: Moderation is key. So go ahead and eat that hot dog at the state fair or some bacon on vacation. But take note: People who eat lots of processed meats over their lifetime seem to have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (and heart disease).

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11:51am

Fri August 5, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Salmonella Outbreak Reignites Debate Over Antibiotics In Food Supply

With one death and 77 people reported ill, the latest foodborne illness outbreak has led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. Food giant Cargill has been forced to pull a staggering 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market. And the victims in this case have gotten very sick — almost one-third have ended up in the hospital.

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1:24pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

McDonald's Courts Mom Blogs

McDonald's Facebook page on July 27.
Courtesy of McDonald's via Facebook

When McDonald's announced plans Tuesday to overhaul the Happy Meal — downsizing French fries and adding apples to to every kids' meal — the company's top brass used every communication trick they know to get the message out: Twitter, Facebook, and more. And they didn't just invite journalists to their webcast announcing the overhaul; they also invited select bloggers — namely, mom bloggers.

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11:12am

Tue July 26, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Bowing To Pressure, McDonald's Makes Happy Meals More Healthful

McDonald's cutting down on french fries and adding more healthful items, such as apple slices, to Happy Meals.
Bill Parrish Photography McDonald's

The Happy Meal is headed for a nutrition overhaul.

Bowing to pressure that its kids' meals haven't been healthful enough, McDonald's will downsize french fries and put a fresh fruit or veggie in every Happy Meal.

Apple slices have long been an option with the Happy Meal. But the problem has been that parents have to ask for them in lieu of french fries. That's about to change.

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4:48am

Mon July 25, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

A Rubber Twist On Treating Tennis Elbow Pain

Larry Holzman does a series of eccentric wrist exercises using a rubber bar called the Thera-Band FlexBar.
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Larry Holzman — avid mountain-biker, skier and guitarist in a band — plays hard. And he didn't want to give it all up due to a "spot of pain" in his elbow. "This wasn't a traumatic injury," explains Holzman. It came on gradually and escalated from annoying to excruciating over the course of a couple months.

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3:43pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

First Lady: Let's Move Fruits And Veggies To 'Food Deserts'

First lady Michelle Obama is expanding her Let's Move campaign way beyond the White House garden.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Today, first lady Michelle Obama announced that several major retailers, foundations and small businesses have committed to bringing healthier food to neighborhoods where supermarkets are scarce.

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12:01am

Mon July 18, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Rethinking Tinnitus: When The Ringing Won't Stop, Clear Your Mind

Originally published on Wed July 27, 2011 11:45 am

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teaches simple techniques — such as using slow breathing — to focus your attention.
iStockphoto

Silence is a beautiful thing. But Robert DeMong has accepted that he'll likely never experience it again.

He's got a condition called tinnitus, which means a ringing sound travels with him everywhere he goes, including to bed at night.

It came on suddenly about five years ago. And he says it threw him into depression. "It was like an ugly monster inside my head," recalls DeMong. "I couldn't sleep at night."

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