December 1st, 2015

Egg Freezing x 2 for Morning Edition

This fall I delved deep into the world of egg freezing. The first piece that aired in October was about an ambiguous and sometimes unreliable fertility test. The second piece for the Changing Lives of Women series look at how more women are freezing the eggs and the questions that plague them — like will they ever use their frozen eggs?

July 19th, 2015

For The Love Of Yogurt

Proud of our most recent series on The Salt, For The Love of Yogurt. This was a series I conceived and put together, with the help of the food team. It features stories on arson, heirloom bacteria, microbe manufacturers, antidepressants, Neolithic revolutionaries, portable Mongolian yogurt cubes and more!

July 19th, 2015

A Nigerian chef, his traveling pop-up and immigrations woes

A couple weeks ago, my story on Tunde Wey, the madcap Nigerian chef behind the traveling pop-up dinner event Lagos, aired on Morning Edition. The story was many months in the making, as Wey was detained by the Border Patrol for several weeks after I’d already produced a story about his culinary exploits. When he was released on bail in late February, I rewrote and reproduced the piece to include the new twist. Give it a listen!

October 24th, 2014

Q&A with crop scientist Jerry Glover in Discover

From the Department of Better Late Than Never, I’m posting a freelance story I did for Discover magazine earlier this year. My interview with Jerry Glover, whose work on perennial food crops could/should blow your mind, appeared in the magazine’s May 2014 issue. Check it!

March 22nd, 2014

Prison loaf on the air

My most recent radio story aired in December, and it’s all about the controversial practice we still have in this country of feeding prisoners a bland lump, known as “the loaf,” when they misbehave. I spent a few months investigating the loaf, and trying to figure out how many prisons or jails still use it as a disciplinary measure. Listen to it here.

December 19th, 2013

Hooray for restored archives

On a whim I went looking for two stories I wrote for The New Republic back in 2007 when I was living in Mexico. The last time I tried to search for them was in 2009, when they vanished during a site reboot.

Sometime in the last 3 years, they were resuscitated from the Internet underworld. And so,  from the vaults, here’s the U.S.-Mexico spat on who’s got a worse drug problem, and a celebrity gossip blogger’s failed attempt to call Castro’s death.

October 28th, 2013

Shutdown & Colbert Report

Earlier this month, a story Allison Aubrey and I wrote about how the shutdown impacts WIC recipients was on The Colbert Report. Here’s the story: Shutdown Leaves Program Feeding Women And Infants In Lurch. It appears at the 5:26 mark in this Oct. 2 episode.

Also from the last couple months:

Why Doctors Oppose Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

This one has great photos and audio collected by Heather Rousseau: How Well Do You Know Your Fish Fillet? Even Chefs Can Be Fooled

I plan to get out to WV sometime to do more reporting on this fascinating topic: ‘Mountain Dew Mouth’ Is Destroying Appalachia’s Teeth, Critics Say

Maybe It’s Time To Swap Burgers For Bugs, Says U.N.

Taking Down Big Food Is The Name Of Chipotle’s New Game

My story on one of the biggest news events in the food world this year: Long Awaited Lab-Grown Burger Is Unveiled In London

Q&A with UC-Berkeley medical anthropologist Seth Holmes: Why Picking Your Berries For $8,000 A Year Hurts A Lot

Allison Aubrey and I have been following the debate about what’s really to blame for the rise in celiac and gluten sensitivity. Here’s our feature: Doctors Say Changes In Wheat Do Not Explain Rise Of Celiac Disease

Stay tuned for the follow-up on the radio to this story on punishment food, which should air sometime in November: The Latest In Adventurous Tastings? Prison Food



August 18th, 2013

Coffee Week

Better late than never, I’d like to shout out Coffee Week, a fun little run of NPR stories in the tradition of Meat Week and Pie Week. I made two contributions: finding a San Diego coffee shop gossip columnist for a two-way on Morning Edition, and this blog post on why caffeine is a miracle drug for the tired. And it seems NPR isn’t finished with food weeks. Stay tuned for Dumpling Week at the end of August!

March 24th, 2013

The Trouble With Food Waste

Late last year, I had a two-part series on the radio that I’ve neglected to add to the archive. Over the course of several months, I dug deep into restaurant food waste, which meant hanging out around stanky Dumpsters and following an experiment in the more fragrant kitchen of LUPA in Greenwich Village. Cruz Goler, the head chef there, let a company called LeanPath come in and test out its waste tracking software. Goler also kindly allowed me to tag along the day he and his staff got trained up on how to use it. Their story was the second segment in the series, while the first looked at precisely why all the scraps generated by restaurants are such a nuisance. For that story, I had the pleasure of interviewing the great Dr. Robert Corrigan, who heads up the New York City Rodent Control Academy.

In other news, we learned last month that The Salt won a Gracie Award in the Outstanding Blog category. We’re super psyched and honored.

August 5th, 2012

Why do we turn to ritual to get what we want?

This is not a question I had ever actually asked myself, but it is a question cognitive psychologist Cristine Legare has been asking herself for a while. I stumbled across Legare’s research about 10 days ago — it was a paper she has out in the latest issue of the journal Cognition — and was hooked by what she calls “supernatural reasoning.” Supernatural reasoning is essentially the reasoning we turn to when we engage in ritual, superstition or any other kind of behavior where there’s no clear physical evidence of cause and effect. When I talked to Legare last week, I realized that I had just participated in exactly the kind of ritual she wants to understand and explain; a chanting session at a yoga studio in support of a D.C.-area yoga instructor who’d recently been hospitalized for injuries sustained when he was attacked on the street while walking home. For more, read my post on Shots.