Dan Charles
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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Lenny Zimmel puts Colby cheese curds into forms to make 40-pound blocks of cheese at Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa, Wis. Record dairy production in the U.S. has produced a record surplus of cheese, causing prices to drop. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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America's Real Mountain Of Cheese Is On Our Plates

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Berkeley, Calif., passed the nation's first soda tax in 2014. According to a new study, the tax has succeeded in cutting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there's uncertainty about whether the effect will be permanent. Robert Galbraith/Reuters hide caption

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Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

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Soda Tax Drives Down Sales In Berkeley, Calif.

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To protest against the falling prices of dairy and meat, farmers pour liters of milk in front of a prefecture in northwestern France in January. Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Non-GMO eggs. (this photo is for promo only, not for the page) Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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Organic Food Fights Back Against 'Non-GMO' Rival

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Monsanto Sold Soybean Farmers A Weed-Beating Tool They Couldn't Legally Use

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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

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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

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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

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

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For Pickers, Blueberries Mean Easier Labor But More Upheaval

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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

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As Bagged Salad Kits Boom, Americans Eat More Greens

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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

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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

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