High Plains Public Radio

Allison Aubrey

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News, where her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to the PBS NewsHour.

Aubrey is a 2016 winner of a James Beard Award in the category of "Best TV Segment" for a PBS/NPR collaboration. The series of stories included an investigation of the link between pesticides and the decline of bees and other pollinators, and a two-part series on food waste. Along with her colleagues on The Salt, Aubrey is winner of a 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. She was also a nominee for a James Beard Award in 2013 for her broadcast radio coverage of food and nutrition. In 2009, Aubrey was awarded 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 also 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 the PBS NewsHour. She has worked in a variety of positions throughout the television industry.

Aubrey received her bachelor of arts degree from Denison University in Granville, OH, and a master of arts degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Traffic safety officials regularly warn us of the risks of driving while drunk or distracted. But Americans still need to wake up to the dangers of getting behind the wheel when sleepy, according to a recent study of crash rates. A report released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more. And the less sleep the person behind the wheel...

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says it's hard to know how many people in the U.S. actually have food allergies or whether they're on the rise. Part of the challenge is this: Food allergies are often self-diagnosed and symptoms can be misinterpreted. Sometimes people can't distinguish a food allergy from other conditions such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, which don't fit the medical definition of an allergy. "There are a lot of misconceptions about what a...

Heritage breed turkeys are making a comeback. These birds taste more like the turkeys that Native Americans and settlers ate in the 17th century, compared to today's Butterball turkeys. Just 20 years ago, some heritage turkey breeds were nearly extinct. For instance, in 1997 there were fewer than 10 Narragansett breeding birds left. Today, there are more than 2,000, according to a new census from The Livestock Conservancy . "It's impressive," says Richard McCarthy , executive director of Slow...

This is the time of year when donations to food banks spike. But, some food banks are getting pickier about what they'll accept. Earlier this year the Capital Area Food Bank announced it would "dramatically" cut back on junk food it receives and distributes. This means saying "no" to donations such as sheet cakes, holiday candy, sugary sodas and other processed, bakery items. "Our core business — in helping those most in need — needs to be not only getting people food, but getting them the...

Voters in three cities in California passed ballot measures to place a one cent-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, a move aimed at tackling obesity. In San Francisco, 62 percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of the tax on sugary drinks. Similar measures passed in Oakland and Albany, Calif. In addition, the city of Boulder, Colo., passed a 2 cents-per-ounce tax. "The growing worldwide movement to tax sugary beverages can no longer be stopped," wrote Harold...

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have seen ads urging you to vote "no" on a grocery tax. " Don't Tax Our Groceries " is the tagline of the $9.5 million campaign, which is funded by the American Beverage Association. In one ad, the camera pans to images of tomatoes and beans, as a local business owner says, "The grocery tax is going to hurt my customers." But here's the thing. There's no grocery tax on the ballot. "That's the trick [the soda industry] is using," says Dr....

The World Health Organization has already urged us to cut back on sugar, limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of our daily calories. So, how might policymakers get people to follow this advice? In a new report , the WHO is urging governments around the world to tax soda and other sugary drinks . In its report, the World Health Organization points to systematic reviews of policies aimed at improving diet and preventing lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. "The evidence...

You don't need us to tell you that backyard chickens have become an urban (and suburban) obsession. But here's what you may not know: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented a record high number of salmonella infections linked to these domestic flocks. "This year saw the largest number of illnesses linked to contact with backyard poultry ever recorded," the CDC writes in an investigation update. So far this year, 895 people from 48 states have gotten sick, and 209 people...

So, you're looking for a quick grab-and-go snack, and there's a row of energy bars at the checkout counter. Are they a healthy option? The maker of Kind bars thinks so. The company has used the phrase "healthy and tasty" on some of its products that contain lots of nuts. But, here's the issue: The bars contained too much fat to meet the Food and Drug Administration's strict low-fat definition of healthy. So, as we reported last May , the company helped launch a petition to challenge the...

Eating well has many known benefits. But a good diet may not be able to counteract all the ill effects of stress on our bodies. A new study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggests stress can override the benefits of making better food choices. To evaluate the interactions between diet and stress, researchers recruited 58 women who completed surveys to assess the kinds of stress they were experiencing. The women also participated in what researchers call a "meal challenge," where they...

For some, there's a a glam factor attached to the vegan lifestyle. And these days, there seems to be a growing chorus singing the praises of the environmental and health benefits of a plant-centric diet. Perhaps nowhere is the embrace of a vegetarian diet more on display than in Berlin, Germany, dubbed a global vegan mecca for its growing array of restaurants (think: vegan kebabs, pizza and ice cream) as well as vegan street festivals — and even a vegan butcher . One pro-vegan group estimates...

Top brass at PepsiCo has talked for months about the introduction of an organic line. And now, according to Bloomberg, the company is rolling out G Organic — yep, an organic version of the famously technicolored sports drink Gatorade. (Think crimson red, electric blue and neon green shades.) "Gatorade really dominates the [sports drink] market right now," says Beth Bloom, senior food and drink analyst at the market research firm Mintel. Gatorade commands 77 percent of sports drink sales in...

You've likely heard that dark chocolate is good for you. Last year, researchers linked a regular chocolate habit to a reduced risk of heart disease. And, as we've reported , compounds found in cocoa known as flavanols or polyphenols have been shown to improve vascular health by increasing blood flow. Researchers say some of these compounds can help the body form nitric oxide, a compound that causes blood vessels to dilate. "What we've seen is that intake of dark chocolate is associated with a...

Americans love shrimp. We import about $5 billion worth of it from all over the globe, including from India, Thailand and Indonesia. But over the past year, we've learned more about the downsides of global shrimp production. The AP uncovered slave labor in Southeast Asia, and there's also documentation of environmental degradation from destruction of mangroves. Perhaps this helps explain the success of a new kind of boutique shrimp operation in New York, called Eco Shrimp Garden . Here, a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

We're living at a time when more than 80 percent of Americans fail to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. At the same time, many Americans overeat refined grains and sugar. This may help explain why the obesity rate seems stuck. The most recent estimate is that 36 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. But, as a nation, we seem to have our blinders on. Despite much evidence to the contrary, most Americans say they have a healthy diet. This comes from a poll NPR conducted...

McDonald's is no longer serving chicken raised on antibiotics that are important to human medicine. The company made the pledge last year, and now reports that it has completed its transition to the new antibiotic policy ahead of schedule. As we've reported , many scientists are concerned that the more an antibiotic is given to food animals, the more quickly bacteria could adapt and become resistant to it. And the FDA has urged farmers and ranchers who raise livestock to reduce antibiotic use...

The baristas have spoken, and Starbucks is listening: The company says it's loosening its dress code for in-store employees. Yes, the green aprons remain, but you may begin noticing more personal flair underneath. A company announcement invites baristas "to shine as individuals while continuing to present a clean, neat and professional appearance." No longer must Starbucks employees choose between plain black and white tops. The company says "a range of shirt colors" and subtle patterns are...

Since calorie labeling on most alcoholic beverages is voluntary, it's often hard to know how many calories are in your favorite brew. And — perhaps — ignorance is bliss. But ignoring those liquid calories is about to get a lot tougher. Soon, calorie counts may be staring you in the face. The Beer Institute, a trade group that includes the biggest brewing names, including Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Heineken USA, has announced a new initiative aimed at transparency. Brewers will list...

If you're a taxpayer, you're in on this system. We — the U.S. taxpayers — help subsidize farmers by paying part of the premiums on their crop insurance. This helps ensure that farmers don't go belly up, and also protects against food shortages. But are there unintended consequences? For instance, do subsidies encourage the production — and perhaps over-consumption — of things that we're told to eat less of? Think high-fructose corn syrup or perhaps meat produced from livestock raised on...

A quick consultation with Dr. Google will tell you that drinking lots of water — and staying well-hydrated — can help you lose weight. But is there any truth to this? A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine adds to the evidence that hydration may play a role in weight management. "What we found was that people who were inadequately hydrated had increased odds of being obese," says study author Tammy Chang of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. The...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHSkahIFDF4 Just as the U.S. is battling diet-related diseases, obesity and climate change, so, too, is China. And among the proposed strategies to combat these problems is this: Eat less meat. The recently released Chinese Dietary Guidelines nudge Chinese consumers to cut back on meat. The recommendation sets a new lower target of daily consumption. The guidelines come at a time when China's rate of obesity and diet-related diseases are on the rise. The WHO...

There's an explosion of interest in friendly bacteria. Beneficial microorganisms, as we've reported, can help us digest food, make vitamins, and protect us against harmful pathogens. As this idea gains traction, so too does the popularity of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Though the science is tricky, researchers are learning more about how this ancient technique for preserving food may also help promote good health. For instance, the bacteria in yogurt have been shown...

The soda industry says it will fight to repeal the tax on sweetened beverages voted in by the Philadelphia City Council this week. "The tax passed [in Philadelphia] is a regressive tax that unfairly singles out beverages — including low- and no-calorie choices. But most importantly, it is against the law," reads a statement from the American Beverage Association. The group says it will take legal action to stop the tax. "Similar tax proposals have been rejected 43 times across the country in...

If coffee is your favorite morning pick-me-up, read on. The World Health Organization's cancer research agency has given coffee the green light. The group concludes that coffee does not pose a cancer risk, and experts say a regular coffee habit may even be protective of good health. So, you'd never heard that there had been concern of a cancer risk from coffee? Yeah, that makes lots of us. In 1991, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer listed coffee as a...

When the mayor of Philadelphia first proposed a 3 cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, the American Beverage Association was quick to finance a campaign railing against it. Since March, records show that the industry has financed more than $4.2 million in media buys in Philadelphia to air ads aimed at turning public opinion against the proposal. "This tax could mean higher prices on hundreds of grocery items with some sugar, like soft drinks, sports drinks, juice drinks, energy drinks and...

Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to impose a tax on sugary drinks after its City Council voted on June 16 to approve a 1.5 cents-per-ounce surcharge on soda and other sweetened beverages. Here is our original post from June 9: What's included in the proposed new tax? Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had originally proposed a 3-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks including soda, sweetened teas, sports drinks and other beverages that contain added sugars. The proposal now on the...

Imagine getting paid an estimated $6 million for your involvement in this three-word jingle: "I'm Lovin' It." Yep, Justin Timberlake inked a lucrative deal with McDonald's. (Guess you could say he wants you to " buy buy buy. ") Or how about earning an estimated $50 million to promote Pepsi products?That's the endorsement deal that megastar Beyonce signed up for back in 2012. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics describes the lucrative endorsement deals of 65 music celebrities —...

When you hold a tiny infant in your arms, it's easy to be struck by the fragility of a new human life. I remember feeling both exhilarated and, at moments, terrified when my oldest son was born. It was such uncharted terrain. One of the greatest comforts in those early months was watching him thrive and gain weight. I hadn't anticipated the compulsion – the singular focus — on feeding my babe . It was an overwhelming, primal impulse that must be universal among new mothers, right? But what's...

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