Dan Charles i
Maggie Starbard/NPR
Dan Charles
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Dan Charles

Correspondent, Food and Agriculture

Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.

Primarily responsible for covering farming and the food industry, Charles focuses on the stories of culture, business, and the science behind what arrives on your dinner plate.

This is his second time working for NPR; from 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent at NPR. He returned in 2011.

During his time away from NPR, Charles was an independent writer and radio producer and occasionally filled in at NPR on the Science and National desks, and at Weekend Edition. Over the course of his career Charles has reported on software engineers in India, fertilizer use in China, dengue fever in Peru, alternative medicine in Germany, and efforts to turn around a troubled school in Washington, DC.

In 2009-2010, he taught journalism in Ukraine through the Fulbright program. He has been guest researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1990 to 1993, Charles was a U.S. correspondent for New Scientist, a major British science magazine.

The author of two books, Charles wrote Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, The Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005) and Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001) about the making of genetically engineered crops.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from American University with a degree in economics and international affairs. After graduation Charles spent a year studying in Bonn, which was then part of West Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Service.

[+] read more[-] less

Cookie dough clings to the beaters of a standing mixer. The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat raw dough due to an ongoing outbreak of illnesses linked to flour tainted with E. coli. Larry Crowe/AP hide caption

toggle caption Larry Crowe/AP

Workers sort potatoes in the field, collecting small and large ones in different buckets. Each bucket weighs 30 pounds or so. A worker will shoulder that bucket and dump it into a flatbed truck hundreds of times each day. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Dan Charles/NPR

Congress has passed a bill that will require food companies to disclose GMOs — but without necessarily using a GMO label on packaging. Companies would have several disclosure options, including using a QR code on packaging that customers could then scan with a smartphone to learn more. (Above) A sign at a July 1 rally in Montpelier, Vt., protests the bill. Wilson Ring/AP hide caption

toggle caption Wilson Ring/AP

Congress Just Passed A GMO Labeling Bill. Nobody's Super Happy About It

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/486060866/486064365" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Morgan McCloy/NPR

For Pickers, Blueberries Mean Easier Labor But More Upheaval

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/484015376/485807845" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Caesar salad kit. Americans buy twice as many packages of bagged salad greens as heads of lettuce these days. Is the bagged stuff just as good? If it gets you to eat more leafy greens, yes. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

As Bagged Salad Kits Boom, Americans Eat More Greens

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/485098252/485661762" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would require food companies to disclose GMOs — but without necessarily using a GMO label on packaging. Companies would have several disclosure options, including using a QR code on packaging that customers could then scan with a smartphone to learn more. (Above) A sign at a July 1 rally in Montpelier, Vt., protests the Senate bill. Wilson Ring/AP hide caption

toggle caption Wilson Ring/AP

Sweet potato evangelist Maria Isabel Andrade drives around Mozambique in her orange Toyota Land Cruiser in 2012. She is one of four researchers honored with the World Food Prize for promoting the crop to combat malnutrition. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Dan Charles/NPR

Perdue will study the effects of features such as perches in chicken houses. It hopes to double the activity levels of its chickens in the next three years. Business Wire hide caption

toggle caption Business Wire

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483724603/483756616" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Inside one of Mastronardi Produce Sunset Grown's greenhouses, tomato vines hang on lines that can be adjusted so that the tomatoes are always at a height that's convenient for harvesting. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Dan Charles/NPR

How Canada Became A Greenhouse Superpower

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473526920/482363012" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Tomatoes from Canada, Mexico and Florida Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

The Search For Tastier Supermarket Tomatoes: A Tale In 3 Acts

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/479632322/480564752" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Coming soon: The redesigned nutrition facts label will highlight added sugars in food. The label also will display calories per serving, and serving size, more prominently. U.S. Food and Drug Administration hide caption

toggle caption U.S. Food and Drug Administration