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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11:14am

Fri September 12, 2014
The Salt

From Cotton Candy To Cat Pee: Decoding Tasting Notes In Honey

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:21 pm

Honey can be as golden as the sun or as dark as molasses. Researchers have identified over 100 different flavors in it, too, some more savory or stinky than others.
Ellen Webber/NPR

If bees in France buzz around the lavender fields, foraging for nectar, what does the honey they produce smell or taste like?

Yes, a bit like lavender.

But not all the floral, spicy or woody aromas detectable in the roughly 300 varieties of honeys being produced today are so easy to name.

That's where the new Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel, developed by a sensory panel at the Honey and Pollination Center at the University of California, Davis, comes in.

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3:59pm

Wed September 10, 2014
Shots - Health News

Women Who Eat Fish Twice Weekly Cut Their Risk Of Hearing Loss

Researchers speculate that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish may help maintain good blood flow to the inner ear.
iStockphoto

Are you finding it tougher to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant? Or does it seem like people are mumbling when you speak with them?

These are two questions commonly used to screen for hearing loss, which affects more than one-third of people over age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So, what to do to cut the risk?

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7:50am

Sat September 6, 2014
The Salt

Better With Butter? Here's Why Americans Are Consuming More

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:24 pm

iStockphoto

A growing number of Americans seem to believe that everything is better with butter.

"I love butter," says Ashleigh Armstrong, 29, as she sips coffee at a cafe in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. Among her favorites: "Anything from Julia Child's cookbooks."

There's no margarine in Ashleigh's refrigerator. "I'm not going to have the fake stuff," she says, adding that she'd rather indulge a little in rich foods and burn it off at a spinning class.

And no, she's not worried about cholesterol. That's her grandmother's generation's concern, she says.

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3:29am

Mon August 25, 2014
The Salt

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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7:02pm

Wed August 13, 2014
Goats and Soda

Death By Salt? New Study Finds Too Much Sodium Is A Global Killer

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 2:15 pm

Around the world, people consume too much salt. A new study estimates 1.65 million deaths a year are attributable to sodium intake.
Jung K Oh iStockphoto

Americans are accustomed to being nagged about salt. We're told we consume too much — particularly from processed foods. And that all this salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

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1:21pm

Fri July 11, 2014
The Salt

If Exercise Feels Like Work, Mindless Snacking May Follow

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:41 pm

In a recent study, participants who focused on the exercise of walking ate more M&M's than people who focused on music while walking.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

If we hit the gym, don't we deserve a little extra something, maybe something sinfully sweet? The idea that sacrifice begets reward is embedded in our collective thinking.

But a fascinating new study from the folks at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab shows how this thinking might backfire. Thinking of exercise as work can lure us into mindlessly devouring calorie bombs, such as a big helping of pudding or extra handfuls of M&M's. And compensating for physical activity with sweet treats this way may lead to weight gain.

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6:08pm

Fri June 6, 2014
The Salt

Doughnut Day Downer: Palm Oil In Pastries Drives Deforestation

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:29 pm

Doughnuts at a Krispy Kreme store in Washington, D.C. An environmental coalition says leading doughnut companies like Krispy Kreme source palm oil from suppliers who are clear-cutting rain forests and destroying wildlife habitat.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

On National Doughnut Day, it's hard to imagine how our love of doughnuts might be contributing to deforestation halfway around the globe.

But here's the connection: You know that oily smudge left on your fingers after you polish off a doughnut? That's not just sugar. It's also palm oil.

The major doughnut retailers — from Dunkin' Donuts to Tim Hortons and Krispy Kreme — fry their sweet treats in palm oil, or in blends of oil that include palm oil.

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4:31pm

Fri March 14, 2014
The Salt

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:31 pm

Marketing to kids may have gotten a bad rap in the past. Especially since children have been the target of so much junk food advertising.

But it's a new day.

Increasingly, companies are seeing profits pushing ultra-healthy stuff. And they're not using a finger-wagging, guilt-ridden, eat-your-veggies-because-they're-good-for-you messaging.

Birds Eye is taking a page from the playbook of other companies that have had success leveraging the power of teen pop stars: The frozen food giant is turning to Disney.

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6:39pm

Thu March 6, 2014
The Salt

Almost 500 Foods Contain The 'Yoga Mat' Compound. Should We Care?

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:55 pm

Going, going, gone. You won't find azodicarbonamide in Nature's Own products. And Subway is phasing it out, too. But lots of manufacturers are still using the additive.
Meg Vogel NPR

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

A report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

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8:41am

Wed March 5, 2014
The Salt

Eat Plants And Prosper: For Longevity, Go Easy On The Meat, Study Says

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:49 pm

A new study linking animal protein-rich diets to increased mortality in middle age adds fuel to the controversy over how much protein — and from what sources — is ideal for health. One thing that seems pretty clear: It doesn't hurt to go heavy on the greens.
iStockphoto

Americans who ate a diet rich in animal protein during middle age were significantly more likely to die from cancer and other causes, compared with people who reported going easy on foods such as red meat and cheese, fresh research suggests.

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4:07pm

Thu February 27, 2014
Health

With New Food Labels, Back Of The Box Gets A Makeover

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We've been hearing about the Food and Drug Administration's proposed makeover of the Nutrition Facts Panel, the box on food packages that tells us how much fat, sodium and other things are a product. Today, the first lady introduced the redesigned label at a White House event.

NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.

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12:28pm

Wed February 26, 2014
The Salt

Nutrition Labels To Get Long-Overdue Tweaks

Nutrition labels will be getting a makeover this week to make it easier for consumers to understand the information.
Larry Crowne AP

If you're perplexed about how to make healthy choices when you're shopping for food, you're not alone. We've all puzzled over a food label that was confusing and hard to follow.

But some help may be on the way, as I reported on All Things Considered Tuesday.

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4:19pm

Tue February 25, 2014
Food

New Food Label Aims To Make Healthy Decisions Easier

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm

The Food and Drug Administration and the White House are expected to unveil a new food label this week. Changed just once since their adoption, these labels need to be less confusing, advocates say.

6:36pm

Fri February 14, 2014
The Salt

For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Lunch with oysters and wine by Frans van Mieris, 1635-1681.
Universal Images Group UIG via Getty Images

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, and avocado or a turnip? (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer.)

One of these, at least, is a gimme. The stories linking oysters and other shellfish to lust go back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Think of the image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, rising out of the sea from the half-shell.

"There's something primal about eating oysters," says oyster-lover MJ Gimbar. He describes them as creamy and velvety. "It's like a kiss from the ocean."

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1:24pm

Wed January 22, 2014
The Salt

Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:22 pm

Long John Silver's has gained some notoriety in the past for serving up what the food police dubbed the most unhealthful meal in America. (aka heart attack on a hook.)

But the fast-food chain is out to change its reputation. One step in this new direction: a quick transition from partially hydrogenated oils that contain bedeviled trans fats. Today, the chain announced it is moving to a 100 percent soybean oil that is trans-fat free.

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