Dan Charles Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
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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Story Archive

A New Look At An Old Way To Store Energy

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Georgia's chicken prices were 30 to 50 percent higher than chicken prices elsewhere in 2015. Investors smelled a rat. Rob Lawson/Getty Images hide caption

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Rob Lawson/Getty Images

How Wall Street Brought Down Georgia's Suspicious Chicken Price Index

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Arkansas farmer David Wildy inspects a field of soybeans that were damaged by dicamba. The pesticide ban is tied up in courts, leaving farmers uncertain about what to plant. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Deb Gangwish inspects soil on her farm near Shelton, Neb. Dan Charles hide caption

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Dan Charles

A Grass-Roots Movement For Healthy Soil Spreads Among Farmers

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A cow at Carol and Bill Schuler's dairy farm in southwest Michigan. Dan Charles hide caption

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Dan Charles

When Robots Milk Cows, Farm Families Taste Freedom

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Carrageenan is an extract derived from seaweeds like these harvested off Hingutanan Island, Bien Unido, Bohol, Philippines. Farley Baricuatro/Getty Images hide caption

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Farley Baricuatro/Getty Images

Cameras and claws are the machine's version of human eyes and hands. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Robots Are Trying To Pick Strawberries. So Far, They're Not Very Good At It

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Underwater grasses and a crab pot near Crisfield, Md. In the Chesapeake Bay, underwater seagrass beds are growing, sheltering crabs and fish. The long-awaited recovery depends on efforts by farmers to prevent nutrients from polluting the giant estuary. Peter Essick/Getty Images/Aurora Creative hide caption

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Peter Essick/Getty Images/Aurora Creative

The idea behind the blended beef-mushroom burger is that mixing chopped mushrooms into our burgers boosts the umami taste, adds more moisture and reduces the amount of beef needed. And reducing the need for beef has a big impact on the environment. The Mushroom Council hide caption

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The Mushroom Council

The Food and Drug Administration has started testing randomly selected fresh herbs and prepared guacamole. So far, the agency has found dangerous bacteria in 3 percent to 6 percent of the samples it tested. Joff Lee/Getty Images hide caption

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Joff Lee/Getty Images

A global map showing where all fishing vessels were active during 2016. Dark circles show the vessels avoiding exclusive economic zones around islands, where they aren't allowed. Global Fishing Watch hide caption

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Global Fishing Watch