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
5:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

Beginning in August, a newly formulated aspartame-free Diet Pepsi will hit the shelves, the company says.
PepsiCo

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 10:16 pm

If you like the idea of zero or low-calorie sodas, but you're turned off by the artificial sweetener aspartame, you're not alone.

Sales of diet soda have fallen off significantly in the U.S. And when PepsiCo started asking consumers what they didn't like, aspartame was at the top of the list.

"It's literally the number-one complaint we've heard from diet-cola consumers as to why they're drinking less and less diet cola, " Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president for PepsiCo, tells The Salt.

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The Salt
4:41 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Buzz Over Bee Health: New Pesticide Studies Rev Up Controversy

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

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:58 am

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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The Salt
2:58 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

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 — either from food or energy gels or energy drinks — 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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Shots - Health News
1:49 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Tylenol Might Dull Emotional Pain, Too

Paul Taylor Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:17 pm

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 — not just pain.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

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

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 — perhaps surprisingly — 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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The Salt
2:44 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"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

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 10:58 am

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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Shots - Health News
1:33 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Rethinking Alcohol: Can Heavy Drinkers Learn To Cut Back?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:34 am

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 — yes or no, you have it or you don't — 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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The Salt
1:12 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Do TV Cooking Shows Make Us Fat?

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

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:37 am

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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The Salt
9:12 am
Wed March 11, 2015

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

Garry Gay Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:18 pm

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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The Salt
2:18 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Circadian Surprise: How Our Body Clocks Help Shape Our Waistlines

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:18 pm

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 — from our pancreas to our stomach to our fat cells.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

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 risqué, 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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The Salt
4:14 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

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

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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The Salt
2:38 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:40 pm

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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The Salt
4:07 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

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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The Salt
1:26 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Chocolate Makeover: Nestle Dumps Artificial Colorings

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

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars — including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger — 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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Fitness & Nutrition
2:35 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

New Dietary Guidelines May Lighten Caution Against Cholesterol

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 4:27 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
10:07 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Outrage Over Government's Animal Experiments Leads To USDA Review

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

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:43 pm

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 — as well as review and update its animal welfare strategy.

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The Salt
4:22 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

White Potato Redux: Experts Say Spuds Are Not Nutritional Duds

The reputation of the humble spud may be on the mend.
jamonation/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:45 pm

White potatoes have gotten a bad rap.

All the starch contained in spuds can raise blood sugar. And potatoes — which are often consumed with loads of fat (think french fries and chips) — may not do our waistlines any favor.

But the reputation of the humble spud may be on the mend.

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The Salt
1:29 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Love Hot Sauce? Your Personality May Be A Good Predictor

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

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 9:05 am

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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The Salt
12:21 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

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

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 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 — a sort of spring cleaning of our insides?

And yes, several years back, I even remember trying — if only for a day — 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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The Salt
4:20 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 3:20 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 — which might involve skipping dinner, save a bowl of broth — is a boost in energy and a decreased appetite?

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The Salt
3:51 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

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

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

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

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The Salt
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Hangover Helper: Tips To Prevent A Horrible Headache

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

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:45 pm

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 — 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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The Salt
1:16 am
Mon December 29, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:17 am

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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The Salt
4:33 am
Fri December 26, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:07 am

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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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:00 am

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 — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — 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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The Salt
2:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

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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The Salt
4:56 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:56 am

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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The Salt
4:41 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Moderate Drinker Or Alcoholic? Many Americans Fall In Between

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:49 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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The Salt
3:12 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 4:34 pm

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

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