Melinda Hemmelgarn is a registered dietitian, “investigative nutritionist,” and award-winning writer and radio host, better known as “the Food Sleuth.” With 30+ years’ experience in clinical, academic and public health nutrition, she’s a trusted consumer advocate and educator, who helps people "think beyond their plates."
Prior to her independent writing and speaking career, Melinda developed and directed the Nutrition Communications Center at the University of Missouri, where she blazed the trail blending media literacy with nutrition education to combat childhood obesity. In 2004, she was awarded a Food and Society Policy Fellowship which allowed her to develop critical thinking skills to advance food, farm and media literacy.
As host of Food Sleuth Radio, a nationally syndicated Pacifica program, Melinda interviews thought leaders who connect the dots between food, health and agriculture. The program ranks among the top national “green food radio shows,” and won 1st place for radio interview from the National Federation of Press Women.
For 20 years, Melinda wrote a provocative, practical and personal weekly column for the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune. She has published articles in the American Journal of Nursing, Today's Dietitian, Natural Awakenings, ACRES USA, Current Health, and Edible Communities magazines; she also blogs for Organic Valley, promoting the public health benefits of organic food and farming. Melinda serves on the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, and the Organic Farming and Research Foundation Boards. In 2015 she was named one of the “top 10 dietitians making a difference,” by Today’s Dietitian Magazine.
Melinda also works creatively with her photographer husband on their “F.A.R.M.” project: “Food, Art, Revolution, Media – A Focus on Photography to Re-Vitalize Agriculture and Strengthen Democracy.” Their mission: use the synergistic power of compelling images and farmers’ stories to shape agriculture and health policy.
Melinda is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group, and the Union of Concerned Scientists' Science Network.
B.S., Dietetics, Florida State University.
Dietetic Internship: Cornell University's dietetic internship at the New York Hospital.
M.S., Human Nutrition and Food Systems, University of Missouri - Columbia.