Melinda Hemmelgarn is a registered dietitian, newspaper columnist, and freelance writer and speaker. She has written her trademarked weekly "Food Sleuth" column for the Columbia Daily Tribune since 1989, and it now appears in a variety of publications nationwide. The "Food Sleuth" mission is to "digest" nutrition research, expose diet fraud and help consumers think beyond their plates. Melinda's launch into media work began when she learned that most consumers receive their nutrition and health information through the media. She developed (and for 15 years directed) the Nutrition Communications Center at the University of Missouri, where she wrote a nationally distributed newsletter, conducted hundreds of media interviews annually, and instructed dietetic and science journalism students. After leaving the University in 2002, Melinda received a certificate in adult weight management through the American Dietetic Association, and began a career as a nutrition and health communications consultant. She works on a variety of projects for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, as well as for Robert Wood Johnson's Active Living and Healthy Eating by Design grants. She also works on media literacy projects with the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In 2005, she began production of "Food Sleuth TV," a 30-minute, monthly program that includes documentaries and interviews on consumer food and health issues. Topics range from biotechnology to water safety to endocrine-disrupting plastics. Her program is broadcast on public access television channels in St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri. Melinda is a member of the American Dietetic Association's Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group, the Society for Nutrition Education, and the Missouri Association for Social Welfare's Hunger Task Force. She is also a new member of the Association for Health Care Journalists, and an affiliate member of the University of Missouri's Center for Health Policy. She was a member of the 2004-2006 class of Food and Society Fellows.