Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian, “investigative” nutritionist, and award-winning
journalist, with 30 years’ experience in clinical, academic and public health nutrition.
Prior to her freelance writing and speaking career, Melinda developed and directed the Nutrition
Communications Center at the University of Missouri, where she focused on strategic health messages.
Motivated by escalating childhood obesity rates, Melinda turned her attention to children’s “media diets” and
blazed the trail blending media literacy with nutrition education. In 2004, she was awarded a W.K. Kellogg
Food and Society Policy Fellowship which allowed her to connect the dots between food, health and
agriculture. Her work today focuses on teaching critical thinking skills to find "food truth."
Her provocative, practical and personal “Food Sleuth” newspaper columns, magazine articles, conference
keynotes, community radio and cable access TV shows help people “think beyond their plates.” Her work
has appeared in assorted national publications including the American Journal of Nursing, Today's Dietitian,
Current Health, Cable in the Classroom, Rodale Institute and Edible Communities. She is the co-author of a
children's book on healthy eating, and writes an online column for Organic Valley Family of Farms. She is a
member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, National Association for Media Literacy Education,
National Federation of Press Women, and the American Dietetic Association. She has received awards for
Excellence in Media from the MO Farmers' Union and in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition from the
ADA. She proudly joined the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services Board in 2009.
Melinda and her photographer husband received the MO Department of Agriculture's Farmer's Market
Champion Award for their 2009 Farm Hands Calendar: A Tribute to the Hands that Feed Us. All proceeds
supported their local farmers’ market.
B.S., Dietetics, Florida State University – Tallahassee.
M.S., Human Nutrition, University of Missouri – Columbia.
Dietetic internship: Cornell University/ New York Hospital.