It is not unusual for visionaries to be impassioned, if not fanatical, and Willem van Eelen was no exception. Before he died in February at age 91, van Eelen looked back on his extraordinary life. He was born in Indonesia when it was under Dutch control, the son of a doctor who ran a leper colony. As a teenager, he fought the Japanese in World War II and spent several years in prisoner-of-war camps. The Japanese guards used prisoners as slave labor and starved them. “If one of the stray dogs was stupid enough to go over the wire, the prisoners would jump on it, tear it apart and eat it raw,” van Eelen recalled in a 2011 interview. “If you looked at my stomach then, you saw my spine. I was already dead.” The experience triggered a lifelong obsession with nutrition and the science of survival.