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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5:42pm

Tue June 30, 2015
The Salt

Communities Get A Lift As Local Food Sales Surge To $11 Billion A Year

Tomatoes at Union South Farmers Market in Madison Wisconsin.
Patrick Kuhl Flickr

There's a renaissance in local and regional food, and it's not just farmers markets in urban areas that are driving it.

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3:04pm

Mon June 29, 2015
The Salt

Curb Your Appetite: Save Bread For The End Of The Meal

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 3:56 pm

Bite into that bread before your main meal, and you'll spike your blood sugar and amp up your appetite. Waiting until the end of your dinner to nosh on bread can blunt those effects.
iStockphoto

Ah, the bread basket. You sit down for a nice meal out, and there it appears: piping hot, giving off a waft of yeasty divinity.

Who can resist?

There's a reason this age-old tradition prevails. Even in the era of paleo and gluten-free, there are still hordes of us who will gladly nosh on crusty, chewy, soul-warming bread.

But the downside may be more than just some extra calories. Turns out, eating all those carbs before a meal can amp up our appetites and spike our blood sugar.

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3:58pm

Mon June 22, 2015
The Salt

Sans Artificial: General Mills Scrambles To Reformulate Lucky Charms

Brace yourself, leprechaun: General Mills wants to ditch the artificial colorings and flavorings in your Lucky Charms.
Mike Mozart Flickr

We hate to break it to you, Mr. Leprechaun, but someone really is after your Lucky Charms: General Mills.

Or more specifically, it's after the artificial colorings used to give the cereal its trademark rainbow-colored marshmallow shapes. General Mills on Monday announced it will remove artificial colors and flavors from all of its cereals.

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5:03am

Fri June 19, 2015
The Salt

Chocolate, Chocolate, It's Good For Your Heart, Study Finds

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 5:58 pm

There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Here's a sweet notion: Eat a little chocolate each day and you could be doing your heart a favor.

A new study published in the journal Heart found that habitual chocolate eaters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes compared to people who didn't eat chocolate.

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1:50pm

Wed June 17, 2015
The Salt

To Tackle Food Waste, Big Grocery Chain Will Sell Produce Rejects

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 10:45 am

Imperfect Produce is a new venture that's sourcing funny-looking produce and partnering with the chain Raley's to sell it at discounted prices.
Courtesy of Imperfect Produce

It's easy to blame someone else for food waste. If this is really a $2.6 trillion issue, as the United Nations estimates, then who's in charge of fixing it?

Turns out, we the eaters play a big role here.

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2:13pm

Tue June 16, 2015
The Salt

FDA To Food Companies: This Time, Zero Means Zero Trans Fats

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Microwave popcorn containing trans fats from November 2013. The Grocery Manufacturers Association says the industry has lowered the amount of trans fat added to food products by more than 86 percent. But trans fats can still be found in some processed food items.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced that food companies have three years to remove all trans fats from processed food. The long-expected move is aimed at making food more healthful.

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3:48am

Mon June 15, 2015
Shots - Health News

Take A Swing At This: Golf Is Exercise, Cart Or No Cart

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 1:29 pm

Ryo Ishikawa, one of Japan's biggest golf stars, demonstrates his swing on the pro tour in February.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

When we asked adults who play sports which one they play the most, golf topped the list. That's right: Our poll finds that a day on the links beat out soccer, softball and tennis.

My first reaction was: Whaaat? Golf is played by people riding around in motorized carts; how much exercise could you possibly get?

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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 — who has pledged to turn the fast-food giant into a progressive burger chain — 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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6:32pm

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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5:31pm

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 — from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables — 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 — as I did yesterday — 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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7:08pm

Fri April 24, 2015
The Salt

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:16 am

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

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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