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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Shots - Health News
9:47 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Banned Drugs Still Turning Up In Weight-Loss Supplements

Even versions of Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen labeled "genuine" and "anti-counterfeit" have been found to contain the drug sibutramine, which was supposed to come off the U.S. market in 2010 for safety reasons.
Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:04 am

Americans spend about $4 billion a year on weight-loss supplements. And the Food and Drug Administration spends a lot of effort policing distributors who market fraudulent products that are tainted with unsafe, banned drugs.

But a study published Tuesday finds that buyers should beware: Just because the FDA recalls a product for containing dangerous substances doesn't mean the product disappears from the market.

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Reality Check: To Burn Off A Soda, You'll Have To Run 50 Minutes

Would you think twice about that 20-ounce soda if you were informed that it would take 5 miles of walking β€” or 50 minutes of running β€” to burn it off?
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:32 am

As a society, we don't pay much attention to nutrition information when we eat out.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimates just 8 percent of Americans use nutritional information when deciding what to order.

But that could change soon.

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The Salt
10:53 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Restaurants Shave Calories Off New Menu Items

A sign displaying calorie counts is seen in a Subway restaurant in New York City in 2008. A yet-to-be-finalized federal rule requiring big chain restaurants to post calorie counts has likely led eateries to tweak their menus.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 9:22 am

Last month we reported that big food retailers have eliminated billions of calories from the packaged foods they sell in supermarkets.

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The Salt
9:58 am
Fri September 12, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:21 am

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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Goats and Soda
4:49 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:15 am

Americans are accustomed to being nagged about salt. We're told we consume too much β€” 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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The Salt
1:42 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:31 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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The Salt
5:28 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:55 am

That compound found in commercially baked bread β€” yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too β€” 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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The Salt
9:35 am
Wed March 5, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 12:49 pm

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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The Salt
9:56 am
Wed February 26, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:28 am

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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The Salt
4:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:58 pm

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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The Salt
10:25 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 1:22 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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The Salt
9:14 am
Wed January 22, 2014

More Signs A Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Ills

A study found that a Mediterranean diet with extra nuts and olive oil was associated with a lower risk of a cardiovascular condition called peripheral artery disease.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:54 am

There's fresh evidence that a Mediterranean diet can help cut the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Let Them Eat Sandwiches: USDA Eases School Lunch Restrictions

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 1:16 pm

After the the school lunch program was overhauled in 2012 to curb childhood obesity, lots of kids began complaining that lunches were too skimpy.

Why? Because in some cases, schools had to limit healthy foods β€” such as sandwiches served on whole-grain bread or salads topped with grilled chicken β€” due to restrictions the U.S. Department of Agriculture set on the amount of grains and protein that could be served at meal-time.

In some districts, program participation dropped as more kids decided to brown-bag it and bring their own food to school.

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Shots - Health News
2:28 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

More Children Are Being Medicated For ADHD Than Before

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:03 pm

The number of children being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And families increasingly are opting for medications to treat kids. Two-thirds of children with a current diagnosis are being medicated β€” a jump of 28 percent from 2007 to 2011.

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The Salt
3:59 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

How 17th Century Fraud Gave Rise To Bright Orange Cheese

Shelburne Farms' clothbound cheddar has a bright yellow color because it's made from the milk of cows that graze on grasses high in beta-carotene.
Courtesy of A. Blake Gardner

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:46 am

The news from Kraft last week that the company is ditching two artificial dyes in some versions of its macaroni and cheese products left me with a question.

Why did we start coloring cheeses orange to begin with? Turns out there's a curious history here.

In theory, cheese should be whitish β€” similar to the color of milk, right?

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