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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The Salt
12:56 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Most Of Us Just Can't Taste The Nuances In High-Priced Wines

Research suggests that most of us don't or can't taste the subtleties of fine wines.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 1:18 pm

Have you ever splurged on a highly rated bottle of Burgundy or pinot noir, only to wonder whether a $10 or $15 bottle of red would have been just as good? The answer may depend on your biology.

A new study by researchers at Penn State and Brock University in Canada finds that when it comes to appreciating the subtleties of wine, experts can taste things many of us can't. "What we found is that the fundamental taste ability of an expert is different," says John Hayes of Penn State.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Hey Locavores, Are You Creating Jobs?

The Know Your Farmer interactive map shows USDA-supported projects and programs related to local and regional food systems for the years 2009-2011.
USDA

When we think of the farmers we know, we can count a lot of locally-produced food we've reported on, from unusual greens to pawpaws.

And when the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes their Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, what do they count? Jobs.

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The Salt
6:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

George Washington's Ice Cream Recipe: First, Cut Ice From River

Actress portraying Martha Washington
John Rose

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:01 am

This year would not be a good year for ice cream. In fact, there would be none at all if we relied on the technique George Washington used at Mount Vernon, his Virginia estate that's perched on the banks of the Potomac River.

His source of ice was the frozen river. Given the warm winter we've had here in D.C. , there's no chance. Seems the weather is nothing like it was on Jan. 26, 1786, when Washington wrote in his journal:

"Renewed my Ice operation to day, employing as many hands as I conveniently could in getting it from the Maryland shore, carting and pounding it."

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The Salt
7:04 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Could Taxes Or Food Stamp Restrictions Tame America's Sweet Tooth?

Sugar may be our favorite pick-me-up. I know I sometimes get the 4 p.m. urge for peanut M&Ms. But how much is too much?

The American Heart Association says women should not have more than 6 teaspoons, or 30 grams, a day, which is about 100 calories of added sugar (excluding fruit). And men should try not to exceed 9 teaspoons, or 45 grams.

But a lot of us are eating way more.

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The Salt
10:04 am
Wed January 25, 2012

USDA To Require Healthier Meals In Schools With Updated Nutrition Standards

The new nutrition standards will replace school lunch dishes like pizza sticks with salad.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 3:46 pm

Less salt and fat. More whole grains, fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy. This is what kids can expect in the school lunchroom soon, according to new nutrition standards for school meals announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and first lady Michelle Obama.

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Business
2:00 am
Thu January 12, 2012

FDA: Fungicide In Orange Juice Is Not A Health Risk

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene, in for Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

This next report underlines the complexity of keeping the food supply safe. The story affects orange juice, like the juice that may be on your table this morning.

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NPR Story
3:49 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Science Desk Experiments With Twinkies

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You can buy Twinkies on the cheap right now. Safeway, just around the corner from our office here in Washington, has them on sale - two boxes for five bucks. So the NPR Science Desk was inspired to take part in the fine, long-standing tradition of experimenting with Twinkies.

NPR's Allison Aubrey reports on their findings.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: My colleagues, Julie Rovner, our health policy correspondent, and Adam Cole, a new addition to our team, had one idea.

So, what is your experiment, guys?

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The Salt
10:01 pm
Sun January 8, 2012

For Kids With ADHD, Some Foods May Complement Treatment

Eliminating junk food from a child's diet is usually not enough to effectively treat attention deficit disorders, a paper shows.
Tarah Dawdy via Flickr

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 1:55 pm

You may remember the controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids. Or you may know parents who have pinned their hopes on an elimination diet to improve their kids' rowdy behavior.

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The Salt
9:19 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Why Are We More Hungry In The Winter?

Our drive to eat more in the winter may be a product of less sunlight — or more temptation around us.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 9:24 am

If you feel hungrier as winter draws near, you're not alone. Even though most of us spend our days in climate-controlled offices and homes, our appetites seem to change when the days grow shorter. Some researchers say it's our primitive impulses promting us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

With Alternative Giving, A Nudge Out Of Poverty For The Poor

A man with a cow in Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam. The man received his cow from Heifer - as well as training and resources to care for it.
Courtesy of Juleen Lapporte

Jim Eckhardt says there was a time he'd fill his holiday shopping cart with toys for his 6 grandchildren. But 7 years ago, he had an epiphany: The kids had too much stuff.

"You look at all the things we throw away and that money could be put to better use," Eckhardt says.

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Health
2:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Businesses Pledge 'Healthier Choices' For Customers

Corporate America is jumping on the opportunities to make people healthier, while keep their bottoms line strong. Leaders of Supermarkets, hotel chains and restaurant groups gathered in Washington this week for a summit aimed at shaping private sector solutions to the obesity epidemic.

The Salt
4:00 am
Sat November 26, 2011

With Paula Deen, It's Not Really About The Pie

For fans of TV chef Paula Deen (seen here in a photo from 2006), her appeal lies not in the recipes, but in that feeling that she's talking just to you.
Courtesy of Food Network AP

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 8:18 am

When I heard Paula Deen was coming to town, the image that leaped to mind was a fried cheesecake, deep-fried. She actually makes this!

At a time when it's trendy to take things out of food (think: gluten-free, sodium-free, fat-free), Paula Deen unapologetically puts it all back in. She loves all that stuff we're told to eat less of: butter, mayonnaise, sour cream. Did I say butter?

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The Salt
12:08 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

Heritage Turkeys: To Save Them, We Must Eat Them

Narragansett and Standard Bronze heritage breed turkeys browse at a farm in Westport, Mass.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 8:49 pm

A decade ago there were fewer than 100 Narragansett turkeys being raised on a few hobby farms. The gamy-tasting meat has a flavor that most Americans have never tasted. "They're delicious," says Slow Food USA's Josh Viertel.

"And they're at risk of being gone forever."

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The Salt
5:59 am
Sat October 22, 2011

Drinking Whiskey In The Spirit Of George Washington

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

Melissa Forsyth NPR

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 4:31 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
12:29 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

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

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

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 9:50 am

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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The Salt
3:05 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

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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The Salt
1:30 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

'Biggest Loser' Nudges Many Viewers To Think Thin

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

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 1:33 pm

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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Shots - Health Blog
3:16 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
8:15 am
Tue September 6, 2011

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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Food
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Sun August 28, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:53 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
3:17 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:42 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

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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Shots - Health Blog
9:51 am
Fri August 5, 2011

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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