Bill Tara

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Biographical Information

"Since 1967 Bill Tara has been an active advocate for natural heath care. He was the Vice President of Erewhon Trading Company, one of America’s first national distributors of organic foods, and was a co-founder of Sunwheel Natural Foods in London, England...

"In 1975 he founded the Community Health Foundation in London England, a Charitable Trust that was the largest natural health education center in the world. Together with Michio and Aveline Kushi, he was a founder of the Kushi Institute and served as Executive Director of the institute programs in London, England and Boston, USA. Bill has served as a senior faculty member for the Kiental Institute in Switzerland and the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He was Chairman of the European Macrobiotic Assembly for four years and served as Chairman of the North American Macrobiotic Congress for two years. In 1975 he edited and published, Your Face Never Lies, based on the teachings of Michio Kushi, which continues to be one of the most popular books on Oriental Diagnosis. In 1985 he published Macrobiotics and Human Behavior, the first book by a Westerner on the Chinese theory of the Body/Mind connection. His latest book, Natural Body / Natural Mind is available on Amazon.

"He most recently served as the head of Natural Therapies at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Albir, Spain, awarded the “Best Medical Spa” by Conde Nast publications." [1]

"In 1972 Bill Tara, an influential member of this group, became the manager of Ceres Natural Health Food store on the Portobello Road in London. Founded in the '60s this was a magical emporium with a bakery, takeaway and bookshop. Peter Bradford was another important “tributary” of the Boston community. In 1974 he and Bill set up Sunwheel Foods, a macrobiotic food company distributing a full range of the staple foods and specialising in the importation of all the highest quality Japanese products." [2]

His wife is Marlene Watson-Tara.



Bill notes:

"In the mid 1960’s I was living in San Francisco with my friend Paul Hawken. We had an old warehouse in one of the least reputable parts of the city where we worked on our lightshows, produced rock concerts and lived.

"A friend gave Paul a book on macrobiotics by George Oshawa and he decided to give it a chance to cure his asthma. I went along for the ride. We tried to find the foods described in the book, no easy task, and experimented in cooking it. As far as we were concerned, we were the only people in the world who were doing this.

"My interest was stimulated by the similarity between Oshawa’s writing and the Tao Te Ching. I had been given a copy years before. It was one of those little pocket books and I carried it around with me. I loved it; there was such simplicity and depth to it. Ohsawa was talking about using the philosophy in a practical way...

"Paul and I, together with some friends had formed a group called the Calliope Company to produce the rock dances and make mischief. At the time that I started eating my own version of macrobiotics and reading Oshawa I was putting together an evening of two plays at a place called “The Straight Theatre” in the Haight/Ashbury. Paul and I had loaned out the warehouse to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters (read all about it in The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe)...

"I worked for the Sams brothers, managing the shop on the Portobello Road and doing some lecturing around London. New folks started showing up at the lectures and at the cooking classes my ex-wife Renee was doing. Eventually I left the Portobello Road shop and started Sunwheel Foods with Peter Bradford and Bob & Harry Harrop...

"An American guy I had met was working for a group in London that was developing biofeedback technology. They had the lease to a building on Old Street in London and couldn’t use the whole place. He asked me to come and see if I could use any of it as a rental. When we were walking through it I was just fantasizing how I would use the space. A few days later he called to tell me that if I wanted to take the lease it was mine. He was having trouble with his group and felt that I could put the place to better use. I went again with Peter, Donal Cox and a few others and we decided to go for it. We formed a charitable trust, put together a team of Trustees, got an agreement for six months free rent from the St. Lukes Trust, signed a twenty year lease and moved in. Everything needed doing and I only had £1,000.00 in the bank." [3]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Penninghame House Leaders, organizational web page, accessed June 18, 2012.
  2. Concord Institute History, organizational web page, accessed June 18, 2012.
  3. Bill Tara Writing, organizational web page, accessed June 18, 2012.