Founder of The Good Earth restaurant chain dies at age 89

RENO, Nev. (AP) — William A. “Bill” Galt, the founder of The Good Earth restaurant chain who was considered a health food pioneer, has died. He was 89.

Galt died Aug. 2 in Reno, Nevada, from complications after repeated surgeries to repair a broken left hip and pelvis suffered in a fall, according to family and friends.

Galt launched The Good Earth in 1975 and started at a 22-seat restaurant in Reno.

Seeking to change the restaurant eating habits of Americans, Galt researched and experimented with whole grains, mostly vegetarian dishes, hormone-free meats, natural sugars and spices from around the world — eliminating monosodium glutamate, which was pervasive at the time.

The chain grew to 53 restaurants serving about 10 million meals per year. It was acquired by General Mills in 1980.

Galt later launched The Good Health Centers to promote healthy lifestyles and made his home in Mexico the last two decades.

The Good Earth Tea that Galt developed in his home kitchen still is available in markets nationwide.

Galt is survived by his wife of the past 30 years, four children from his first marriage and two grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory can be sent to the nonprofit William Galt Organic Farmers Scholarship Fund in care of the Reno law offices of Diaz and Galt, friends of Galt said.