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Politics: It’s for the Birds

Have you ever brought up a subject, or raised a question only to be told,  “it’s political”? This happened to me recently at a gathering to celebrate the Great Missouri Birding Trail. I asked if neonicotinoid seed coatings were present on corn planted in the wildlife conservation area frequented by birders and nature enthusiasts. The …

May 25th, 2017  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth, Grass Up!, Sustainability  |  1 Comment

Put Your Best Fork Forward: Protect Pollinators, People and Planet

“March Madness” might be about spring basketball championships to some, but for me, the term better describes the practice of using toxic chemicals to produce our food. As Jane Goodall wisely stated, “Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it …

March 23rd, 2017  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth  |  2 Comments

Coming Clean in 2017: Pesticides and post-truth agriculture

The Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” the Word of the Year for 2016. It’s defined as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”  The word is often used in the context of “post-truth politics,” inspired by our recent …

January 18th, 2017  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth, Health & Wellness

GMO: Yes or No? Not so easy, not so fast

Last fall, I was invited to “debate” Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, at the St. Louis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting. Our topic: GMOs. As expected, Fraley was firmly in the “pro” camp. I was framed as “con.” However, in my introduction to the audience, I asked that our meeting not be called …

October 11th, 2016  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth  |  3 Comments

5 Things to Look for on Your Food Label

Eating is intimate. With every bite of food, we internalize a part of our outside environment. As a dietitian, I believe we need to know what’s in our food,  who produced it, and under what conditions, in order to best nourish ourselves, feed our families well, and protect our planet. Here are 5 important things to …

August 1st, 2016  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth  |  1 Comment

Cuba: Complicated and on the Cusp of Change

Like most “forbidden fruit,” travel to  Cuba seems especially alluring to U.S. citizens, in part because we can’t simply go there with the rest of the free world and sip rum-laced drinks on white sandy beaches hugged by the clear blue Caribbean Sea. Our strict U.S. – Cuba trade embargo has prohibited U.S. citizens from …

May 5th, 2016  |  Published in Featured Post, Food Sleuth, Travel  |  1 Comment

On a Mission to Cure Cancer? Launch an Organic Moonshot

During President Obama’s final State of the Union address, he called for a medical “moonshot” – a renewed mission to find a cure for cancer. While his noble call to action is commendable, it’s not new. Former President Nixon issued a similar charge in 1971 when he signed the National Cancer Act into law, initiating …

February 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Featured Post, Food Sleuth, Health & Wellness  |  2 Comments

“Just Farmers” or Scientists in Overalls?

Yokiel Farm, Wells, MN, Faribault County When asked about their work, have you ever heard a farmer say, “Oh, I’m just a farmer?” Despite popular bumper stickers that read “No Farmers, No Food,” I don’t think our society fully appreciates and values good farming. Through the eyes of a dietitian who sees the connection between …

December 18th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food Sleuth, Grass Up!, Organic Farming  |  2 Comments

Did You Know? Organic IS Non-GMO (and more)

In October we celebrate all things spooky and a healthy dose of pumpkin spice. Fun and games aside, what’s really spooky is not knowing what’s in the food we’re feeding our families. Which brings us to another, albeit lesser known calendar event: October is national non-GMO month. Consumer surveys consistently show over 90 percent of …

October 7th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth

For the Love of Water: Is Summer Fun Slip-Sliding Away?

If you’re a “water person” like me, you probably derive great pleasure in swimming and splashing in cool, refreshing rivers, lakes and streams on scorching summer days. From stone skipping to tubing, canoeing and fishing, clean water is at the heart of summer fun. So you probably share my grief when reading headlines like this: …

August 12th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues, Food Sleuth, Sustainability


Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian, “investigative nutritionist,” and award-winning writer and radio host better known as “The Food Sleuth.” Melinda connects the dots between food, health and agriculture, and helps us “think beyond our plates” to find “food truth.” Melinda’s a trusted consumer advocate, educator, and national speaker. But most important, she’s a mom, and her dedication to organic food and farming stems from her love for children, nature, and “good” food.