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Melinda Hemmelgarn

Melinda 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 using critical thinking skills to promote "food system literacy" and find "food truth."Her provocative, practical and personal "Food Sleuth" newspaper columns, magazine articles, conference keynotes, TV and radio programs help people "think beyond their plates." Her work has appeared in national publications and she is the co-author of a children's book on healthy eating. She also writes an online column for Organic Valley Family of Farms.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. Together, they also produce Food Sleuth Radio on KOPN in Columbia, MO: www.kopn.org

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