Vesanto Melina, MS RD
Co-author of sixteen books about vegetarian, vegan or plant-based nutrition, including several editions within the best-selling "Becoming Vegan" and "Becoming Vegtarian" series
Honored as an author with the REAL Book of the Year Top 10 award, the 2014 Canada Book Award and the American Library Association star rating for "Go-to Books"
Principal author, "Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets", current publication, published 2016
Longtime lecturer on nutrition subjects throughout Canada and the U.S., and sometimes in Belgium, Brazil, Denmark and France
Author or co-author of eight articles in peer-reviewed research journals, and author of two textbook chapters and two pediatric nutrition reports for the British Columbia Ministry of Health
Former nutrition instructor at Living Light Culinary Institute, Bastyr University, Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing and the University of British Columbia School of Family and Nutritional Sciences
Recipient of Ryley Jeff Award and Clintec Award for leadership in dietetics
Longtime consultant for British Columbia Corrections, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Vesanto Melina, MS RD earned her Masters Degree in Nutrition at the University of Toronto, Ontario in 1965, and later completed two additional years of graduate course work in Adult Education at the University of British Columbia, and was awarded the Registered Dietitian credential by the American Dietetic Association (later renamed Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) while living in Seattle, Washington. Her scholarship in the nutrition field was reflected by authoring or co-authoring eight wide-ranging articles in peer-reviewed research journals over the decades, such as "Junk Food in Our Schools? A look at student spending" in the Journal of the Canadian Dietetic Association in 1977, and culminating in principal authorship of the current version of the enormously influential "Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets" in 2016. She has been honored with the Ryley Jeff Award and Clintec Award for leadership in dietetics, is a revered lecturer on nutrition subjects internationally, and is renowned primarily as co-author of sixteen books about vegetarian, vegan or plant-based nutrition, for which she has received the REAL Book of the Year Top 10 award, the 2014 Canada Book Award and the American Library Association star rating for "Go-to Books". The range of her professional activities is detailed at her website https://nutrispeak.com/.
Most of Vesanto's books have been co-authored with fellow Canadian dietitian Brenda Davis, RD, and some have been translated into as many as ten languages, including the famed bestseller Becoming Vegan, which became repackaged into Express and Comprehensive editions and serves as a universally respected evidence-based reference work in plant-based nutrition. Others have included the 1994 Becoming Vegan and 2010 Becoming Raw, each of which elevated the degree of scientific coverage of their subject matter that was readily available to practitioners and the public, as well as The Kick Diabetes Cookbook. Vesanto in her 2023 solo presentation at the P-POD Conference is reflecting the content of her newest book, Plant Powered Protein, co-authored with Brenda and with Cory Davis, MBA, MSc.IM, P.Ag, thoroughly attentive to the effects of eating choices upon both personal health and planetary health, and acknowledged in August 2023 as the number one seller in Amazon's Sustainability book category. She also long ago authored groundbreaking textbook chapters on the needs of vegetarians in The Manual of Clinical Dietetics, 6th edition, for the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, and in The Manual of Nutritional Care, 4th edition, for the British Columbia Dietitians' and Nutritionists' Association.
Over the years, Vesanto has taught nutrition at British Columbia School of Family and Nutritional Sciences, Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, Bastyr University and Living Light Culinary Institute, as well as conducting workshops for dietitians across North America and serving individual clients. She has occasionally consulted for small producers in the natural foods industry, and has for most years since 1975 provided consulting and guidance at governmental levels, such as for British Columbia Corrections, Youth Custody Centres, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, for Vancouver City Health Department and for the WIC Program in Seattle-King County. She takes joy in creating healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare food at home, and leads an extremely active life in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, Cam. P-POD is delighted to be celebrating Vesanto Melina's extraordinary history of accomplishments by naming her our Lifetime Achievement Honoree in 2023.