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Beatrice Trum Hunter.

Beatrice Trum Hunter, author of books and countless articles about food, health, and environmental issues died on May 27, 2017, at age 98, as the result of a fall that had occurred three months earlier. Beatrice thrived on researching scientific literature and then writing about her findings. Her investigation into the benefits of whole foods and the hazards of food additives and pesticide contamination attracted the attention of others. Both environmentalist Rachel Carson and nutritionist Adelle Davis were among those who sought information from Hunter.

Beatrice became aware of the benefits of good nutrition as a teenager after reading 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs: Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics, a best-seller published in 1933, by Arthur Kallet and Frederick J. Schlink. The book inspired her to cut sugar out of her diet and to eat more whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables. The diet changes relieved her fatigue and improved her skin and hair. She maintained a whole foods diet throughout her long life.

Beatrice had a bachelor's degree in English literature and a master's degree in education. After teaching for some years, Beatrice and her husband moved to a rustic farmhouse, heated by a wood stove, in Deering, New Hampshire, in 1955. Their home became an unadvertised inn for naturalists and nature photographers, who wanted to rough it and enjoy the sounds and silence of nature. In between serving the inn guests wholesome meals, Beatrice researched and wrote.

Her first book, The Natural Foods Cookbook (1961) was followed by 37 more on a variety of health and environmental topics such as the benefits of a whole foods diet (as espoused by Weston A. Price, DDS), nutrition depletion from food processing, the benefits of probiotics, how to avoid the "sugar trap," and the environmental and health consequences of food additives and pesticide use. She also served as food editor for Consumer's Research Magazine, founded by F. J. Schlink, for over 20 years. In addition, longtime Townsend readers will remember the many informative and well-written book reviews and articles--over 120 from 1988-2006--that she wrote for 71.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, the Weston A. Price, Foundation, and Nutrition for Optimal Health awarded Hunter with honorary memberships for her work; and the International Academy of Preventive Medicine made her an honorary fellow. Both the International College of Applied Nutrition and the National Nutrition Foods Association gave her awards; and in 1980, Hunter received the Jonathan Forman Award from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine for her important role in promoting awareness about the vital connection between health and the environment.


A memorial service will be held at the Town Hall in Deering, New Hampshire, at noon on August 13, 2017.

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Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:In memoriam
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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