Warriors for Science: The RDs in Biotech Edition


From calculating the nutrients for a TPN drip to answering the question “what’s the deal with kale?,” registered dietitians are equipped to handle any nutrition issue. But RDNs aren’t only giving advice about nutrition anymore. With more and more focus being put how food is produced, RDNs have been tasked with answering some tough questions about agriculture.

Misinformation about ag biotech abounds on social media (understatement of the year, am I right fellow FACTS Followers?). Luckily, some RDNs aren’t shy about stepping up to the plate (no food pun intended) and doing their part to correct bad info. We’ve highlighted some RDN Warriors for Science who have used their platforms as nutrition experts to spread the science-based facts about biotech foods.

Follow these RDNs to get your nutrition information, with a side of science:

jennie-schmidt-biotech-warriorJennie Schmidt, MS, RD, The Foodie Farmer

In a nutshell: Jennie is a Registered Dietitian and a Maryland farmer

Why we love her: With her understanding food all the way from the ground to your body, Jennie has a unique gift for explaining The Big Picture of food. When talking fruit and veg, Jennie’s blog post Nutrients Are Pesticides: The Dose Makes The Poison explains in depth why we don’t need to let fears of ‘chemicals’ stop us from getting nutritious food.

Topics of choice: Jennie specializes in explaining agriculture, especially confusing issues like ‘GMO,’ sustainable eating, and pesticides.

Where to watch: Read Jennie’s blog, The Foodie Farmer, and follower her on Facebook and on Twitter at @FarmGirlJen.


connie-diekman-rd-biotechConnie Diekman, MEd, RD, LD, FADA, The Champion for all Facets of Food 

In a nutshell: Connie is a past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and dietitian at the Washington University in St Louis.

Why we love her: An expert in food from farm to fork, Connie frequently tackles food production issues both in her role at WashU and in her blog. Connie also emphasizes the importance of looking at all aspects of food (including sustainability, business practices, taste, AND nutrition, of course) when making food-related decisions.

Topics of choice: Ag biotech, food safety, and evidence-based nutrition are just some of the many topics you’ll see popping up in her twitter feed.

Where to watch: On twitter @CBDiekman, on her blog, or on campus at WashU.


leah-mcgrath-biotech-warriorLeah McGrath, RDN, Standing for Science Across the Board

In a nutshell: Leah is a dietitian and the voice behind @BuildUpRDNs, which aims to empower RDs and get them involved in current food issues.

Why we love her: Leah makes it her mission to track down and stomp out myths about food, whether they’re specific to nutrition or not. She makes a point to educate herself on all things food, seeking out researchers and farmers, and inject facts into conversations that sorely need them!

Topics of choice: She’s a regular user of #Stand4Science, she doesn’t shy away from health halo trends from bone broth to organic. Follow her woo-fighting across the board, and start with her piece on the Difference Between Organic and Conventional Milk for The Scientific Parent.

Where to watch: Keep up with Leah on Twitter at @LeahMcGrathRD and her brainchild @BuildUpRDNs.



robyn-flipse-biotech-warriorRobyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, Science & Food For Everyday

In a nutshell: Robyn owns her own business, Nutrition Communication Services, and has spent more than 25 years as a counselor, teacher, writer, and spokesperson. She wrote The Wedding Dress Diet and Fighting the Freshman Fifteen

Why we love her: Robyn’s blogs often inject a dose of ‘real world’ into food fads. One of our favorites is Following the Latest Eating Trends Might Be Bad for Your Health! Where she talks about the importance of adding the right foods into your diet instead of trying to cut things out.

Topics of choice: Though her specialty is on tools like low-calorie sweeteners for weight loss, Robyn also talks about critical agricultural technology issues like food waste.

Where to watch: Follow her website and blog, and get her in your Twitter feed at @EverydayRD.


mary-lee-chin-biotechMary Lee Chin, MS, RD, The Fearless Food Advisor

In a nutshell: Mary Lee Chin is a Colorado dietitian and expert communicator.

Why we love her: Mary has a knack for speaking out on heated food issues, which you’ll find out in a matter of minutes when you jump on her Twitter feed. She is a long time science advocate and certified dietetics celeb in her home-state, even dubbed Denver’s “go-to dietitian” by some of her fans. In her speaking engagements, she challenges other dietitians to take a stand on controversial issues including ag biotechnology (‘GMOs’).

Topics of choice: Mary has been outspoken on the importance of understanding ag biotech, and promoting science literacy. Now there’s a cause we can get behind!

Where to watch: Follow her on Twitter at @maryleechin.


Know and love another science communicator working on food topics? We want to hear about it! Tweet their information to @FACTSFollowers or email us to be considered for future features.

This post was written by the IFIC Foundation’s two Lizzes, Liz Caselli-Mechael and Liz Sanders, RD, MPH, who both love all things science communications.