Category: Blog

March 6, 2016

Tiny, pampered vegetables

The last big feature I did for the web and the radio before leaving NPR in February was this piece with Ryan Kellman on the Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. Love that we were able to use a special layout to make Ryan’s photos really pop.

February 17, 2016

The pear “withholds its secrets from the merely hungry”

One of the many delights of writing about Joan Morgan’s excellent Book of Pears was discovering this quote, by the writer Edward Bunyon from his 1929 book, The Anatomy of Dessert: “The pear must be approached, as its feminine nature indicates, with discretion and reverence; it withholds its secrets from the merely hungry.” Morgan uses it to open her vast and deep compendium on this most under-appreciated fruit. I tried to capture her passion on All Things Considered in December; the story appears on The Salt here.

December 1, 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 19, 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!

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 24, 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 22, 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 19, 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 28, 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 18, 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!