Volume 73, Number 42 | February 18 - 24, 2004


Elizabeth Schutz Lydon, an activist in sustainable agriculture, food, 47

Elizabeth Schutz Lydon, active in the field of sustainable agriculture and author of books and articles on environmentally sound food, died Mon. Feb 9 at her home on Morton St. at the age of 47.

She was diagnosed with cancer six years ago, said her husband, Jeffrey, a former board member of Downtown United Soccer Club and Pier Park and Playground Association.

A graduate of Bennington College, Betsy Schutz entered the art world in the footsteps of her father, Herbert Dietrich Schutz, and a brother, Prescott, dealers in American art and owners of New York Graphic Society, art book publishers. She worked for Galerie Pierre Hautot in Paris, the Bermuda National Trust and Harvard University before moving to New York to join the staff of the Frick Collection.

Later, in the field of sustainable agriculture, she worked for the National Resource Defense Council. She was the first staff member of Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet and worked with several other environmental food groups.

She was co-author of guides on sound food choices and wrote articles for the Utne Reader, World Hunger Year, Safe Food News and other publications. As the first consumer advocate on the F.D.A. National Organic Standards Board, she helped draft the Foods Production Act of 1990 on food labeling.

With her husband in 1983, she founded Island Looms, designers and manufacturers of handcrafted natural-fiber textiles.

In addition to her husband, her son, Gardner, 16, and daughter, Lucy, 15, survive. Two brothers, Peter A. Schutz and Jeffrey H. Schutz, both of Denver, Colo.; two half-sisters and her stepmother also survive.


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