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

Del Ficke, a farmer in Pleasant Dale, Neb., has embraced the cause of building carbon-rich soil, capturing carbon dioxide from the air in the process. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Farmers Are Warming Up To The Fight Against Climate Change

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These men, harvesting sweet potatoes in North Carolina, came to the U.S. on H-2A visas that are designated for seasonal agricultural workers. Such "guest workers" now account for about 10% of U.S. farmworkers. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Farmworkers Say The Government Is Trying To Cut Their Wages

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A harvester works through a field of corn near Santa Rosa, Calif. This corn has been genetically modified, and contains bacterial genes that kill certain insects, but the genes have become less effective. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

As Biotech Crops Lose Their Power, Scientists Push For New Restrictions

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Donnel Baird stands in front of a building where his company, BlocPower, has installed energy-saving heating and solar panels. "Solar panels aren't just for rich people, or for White people. They're for everybody," Baird says. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Fighting Climate Change, One Building At A Time

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Julie Bishop raises the Katahdin breed of sheep, which have hair rather than wool. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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How To Have Your Solar Farm And Keep Your Regular Farm, Too

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Federal Food Assistance Programs Alone Fall Short For Americans

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President Trump delivers remarks last week on the Farmers to Families Food Box program at Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River, N.C. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

How Trump's Food Box Initiative Overpaid And Underdelivered

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Rattan Lal, an Indian-born scientist, has devoted his career to finding ways to capture carbon from the air and store it in soil. Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES hide caption

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A Prophet Of Soil Gets His Moment Of Fame

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Farmers work during a harvest in Jutland, Denmark. People keep worrying about food shortages. Some economists say the fears actually create their own problems. Nick Brundle Photography/Getty Images hide caption

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Food Is Growing More Plentiful, So Why Do People Keep Warning Of Shortages?

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Rich Showalter bought this land in 1975. He sold it earlier this year to Ray Williams, who hasn't yet had a chance to look at his new asset. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Big-Money Investors Gear Up For A Trillion-Dollar Bet On Farmland

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Satellite Images Show Who's To Blame For Most Of The Deforestation In Brazil

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Prairie strips in fields of corn or soybeans can protect the soil and allow wildlife to flourish. This strip was established in a field near Traer, Iowa, in 2015. Omar de Kok-Mercado, Iowa State University hide caption

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Omar de Kok-Mercado, Iowa State University

How Absentee Landowners Keep Farmers From Protecting Water And Soil

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Absentee Landlords Interfere With Farmers Protecting Water, Soil

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