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.

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Non-GMO labels, like this one at Whole Foods, may strengthen consumer perceptions that genetically modified foods may carry risks to health. Ordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images hide caption

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Ordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

Who speaks for rural America? Farmers want international trade deals and relief from regulations. But small towns are focused on re-inventing themselves to attract a new generation. FrankvandenBergh/Getty Images hide caption

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FrankvandenBergh/Getty Images

Farmers Are Courting Trump, But They Don't Speak For All Of Rural America

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An aerial view of a hog farm in North Carolina. The shot on the right shows a flooded manure lagoon after Hurricane Matthew. Google Earth (left)/Waterkeeper Alliance/EWG (right) hide caption

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Google Earth (left)/Waterkeeper Alliance/EWG (right)

This peat soil in Sumatra, Indonesia, was formerly a forest. Clearing and draining such land releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images hide caption

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Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

This chick will live. It's female. Jessica Harms/Getty Images hide caption

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Jessica Harms/Getty Images

Technology May Rescue Male Baby Chicks From The Grinder

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Pesticides called "neonics" are popular among farmers, but also have been blamed for killing bees. In Canada, the province of Ontario is trying to crack down on neonics, with mixed results. James Capaldi/Flickr hide caption

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James Capaldi/Flickr

Cut Down On Bee-Killing Pesticides? Ontario Finds It's Easier Said Than Done

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Refrigerating tomatoes may be making them less flavorful, according to a new study. Ryan Tir/Flickr hide caption

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Ryan Tir/Flickr

Forget Tomayto/Tomahto: The Real Debate Is, Should It Be Refrigerated?

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In many developed countries, consumers are the largest source of food waste. While many countries are trying to reduce food waste, the United Kingdom has been most successful in doing so at the consumer end. WRAP hide caption

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WRAP

Land in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota, as in much of the country, is dominated by farming. Richard Hamilton Smith/Getty Images hide caption

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Richard Hamilton Smith/Getty Images

Chicks in the Perdue hatchery in Salisbury, Md. The company says that it is now raising all of its chickens without routine antibiotics. Only those flocks that get sick, about 5 percent of all birds, will be treated. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Corn rootworm beetle larvae feed on maize root and seed. Nigel Cattlin/Science Source hide caption

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Nigel Cattlin/Science Source

As a GMO Pillar Wobbles, Biotech Companies Promise New Insect-Killing Genes

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A central Illinois corn farmer refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. The pesticide has been the subject of intense international scrutiny. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Seth Perlman/AP

Farmers Lament Bayer's Acquisition Of Monsanto For $66 Billion

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Bayer To Buy Monsanto For $66B, Part Of A Trend Of Consolidation In Big Ag

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Associate professor William Ristenpart talks with Sabrina Perell, a community regional development major, and Kyle Phan, an undeclared major, about the taste of their brew during the Design of Coffee class last October at UC Davis. Students learn the science of coffee, from roasting to brewing. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis hide caption

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Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

STEM To Steam: How Coffee Is Perking Up Engineering Education

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