Dan Charles Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
Dan Charles
Stories By

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.

Story Archive

A Drift-Prone Weedkiller Still Damages Crops And Trees, Despite Attempts To Stop It

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1019746945/1019892736" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Overhead irrigation of this newly planted crop of carrots is putting pressure on the available groundwater supplies in Cuyama, California. Located in the northeastern corner of Santa Barbara County, the sparsely populated and extremely arid Cuyama Valley has become an important agricultural region, producing such diverse crops as carrots, pistachios, lettuce, and wine grapes. George Rose/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
George Rose/Getty Images

The Great California Groundwater Grab

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1018806101/1019385729" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Well water is pumped into an irrigation system at a vineyard in Madera, California. California is suffering from drought, and farmers in the state's Central Valley are pumping more groundwater from their well to make up for a shortfall in water from the state's reservoirs. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Without Enough Water To Go Around, Farmers In California Are Exhausting Aquifers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1019483661/1019486802" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Aerial picture of a deforested area close to Sinop, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, taken on August 7, 2020. Mato Grosso is one of the leading producers of soybeans in the world. Florian Plaucheur/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Florian Plaucheur/AFP via Getty Images

Rescue crews work at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building on Monday after the remaining structure was demolished late Sunday. Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Lynne Sladky/AP

Fishermen secure their boats ahead of the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa in Havana, Cuba, on July 5. Elsa made landfall in Cuba and is now headed to Florida. Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

Workers prep poultry at the meatpacking company JBS in the Brazilian state of ParanĂ¡ in 2017. A recent ransomware attack against JBS is raising concerns about cybersecurity at food companies. Eraldo Peres/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Eraldo Peres/AP

The Food Industry May Be Finally Paying Attention To Its Weakness To Cyberattacks

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1011700976/1013203819" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Diane Howard lives in Lakeview Terrace and gets around by bus. "We still need to fight for better transportation," she says. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Kellman/NPR

For The Climate And Fairness, Take Buses And Sidewalks Before Electric Cars

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1006225485/1009992816" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cleveland's Tree Coalition has set an ambitious goal. It wants to plant hundreds of thousands of trees over the next two decades. So far, though, the city's tree canopy is still shrinking. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Kellman/NPR

Bringing Back Trees To 'Forest City's' Redlined Areas Helps Residents And The Climate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1006223328/1009582221" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Flora Dillard says the help she received in upgrading her house and cutting her energy bills is "a very good program, especially for people that don't have a lot of income." She has lived in the house for 15 years. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Kellman/NPR

What's The Best Way To Help The Climate And People, Too? Home Improvement

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1003382636/1008986950" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A few years ago Cleveland linked climate policy and social equity. Now the Ohio city is hoping to use federal funding to help achieve its climate action goals. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Kellman/NPR

The White House Wants To Fight Climate Change And Help People. Cleveland Led The Way

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1003227623/1008656375" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cindy Mumford and her neighbors are working with several organizations in Cleveland, gathering support and financing to get a community solar project up and running. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ryan Kellman/NPR

Cleveland - What Climate Equity Could Look Like

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1004025638/1004092670" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Wind-blown soil fills a ditch between a road and the fields of Gunsmoke Farms, a large organic farm northwest of Pierre, S.D., in early March. Stringer hide caption

toggle caption
Stringer

A Giant Organic Farm Faces Criticism That It's Harming The Environment

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/989984124/993205383" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This Brooklyn building is going green--Dan Charles has tips on how to make one's home more environmentally friendly. Dan Charles hide caption

toggle caption
Dan Charles