What happened to NPR’s The Salt?

For several years The Salt was the face of NPR’s food reporting, with subsections including Eating and Health, Foodways, Food for Thought, plus others. We linked to many stories from this NPR source that resonated with EYB Members. However, The Salt hasn’t had any new posts since October, 2020, when it announced the passing of Cecelia Chang. So where did it go?

The answer is that the content that appeared on The Salt has migrated to NPR Food, a subsection of the Arts and Life section of the NPR website. Why did The Salt, which won the James Beard Foundation’s Publication of the Year Award in 2018, disappear less than two years later? The answer, according to current.org, is that audience recognition of the brand was too low.

NPR did not publicly announce that it was ending The Salt, but rather told staff in an email in early 2020 that it was winding down the blog. According to NPR, no jobs were lost, although the site’s editor, Maria Godoy, was reassigned to a different section. Since The Salt did have some new posts in 2020, and with everything else that happened in that tumultuous year, the news that it went defunct slipped right by me.

Although NPR Food has produced some good stories since the demise of The Salt, my impression is that overall, the section has lost its sparkle. My hope is that this is just a pandemic-related phenomenon or that it is just my false perception in a world that has gone topsy-turvy. Has anyone else felt there has been slippage in the food coverage from NPR over the last two years?

Post a comment


  • sayeater  on  November 18, 2021

    I mostly get my NPR content from the radio not online so I haven’t noticed much of a change. In recent memory I’ve listened to stories/interviews about Bryant Terry’s Black Food, Dorie’s new baking book and Stanley Tucci’s recent cookbook. A piece a couple weeks ago on climate change and farmers in Colorado also led me to buy corn products from an indigenous-owned farm near Ute Mountain. I remember buying Crying in H-Mart because of an NPR interview with Michelle Zauner earlier this year. So they are definitely reaching me! I’ll have to go back and read the Salt blog posts to see what I missed.

  • friendlytoast  on  November 19, 2021

    Looking at article publishing dates (comparing The Salt and the NPR Food sections), it looks to be a similar publishing frequency. Maybe they are carrying on as usual, as far as what they cover, but just not branding it. I am still missing Sandwich Monday, a weekly feature on The Salt by the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell me staff that ended in 2015. Every once in a while, when I need a good chuckle, I look back at archived posts. They never fail to make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!