JasonClay_2010G_480_ow big brands can help save biodiversity.mp4
I grew up on a small farm in Missouri. We lived on less than a dollar a day for about 15 years. I got a scholarship, went to university, studied international agriculture, studied anthropology, and decided I was going to give back. I was going to work with small farmers. I was going to help alleviate poverty. I was going to work on international development. And then I took a turn and ended up here. Now, if you get a Ph.D., and you decide not to teach, you don't always end up in a place like this. It's a choice. You might end up driving a taxicab. You could be in New York. What I found was, I started working with refugees and famine victims -- small farmers, all, or nearly all -- who had been dispossessed and displaced. Now, what I'd been trained to do was methodological research on such people. So I did it: I found out how many women had been raped en route to these camps. I found out how many people had been put in jail, how many family members had been killed. I assessed how long they were going to stay and how much it would take to feed them. And I got really good at predicting how many body bags you would need for the people who were going to die in these camps.
Now this is God's work, but it's not my work. It's not the work I set out to do. So I was at a Grateful Dead benefit concert on the rainforests in 1988. I met a guy -- the guy on the left. His name was Ben. He said, "What can I do to save the rainforests?" I said, "Well, Ben, what do you do?" "I make ice cream." So I said, "Well, you've got to make a rainforest ice cream. And you've got to use nuts from the rainforests to show that forests are worth more as forests than they are as pasture." He said, "Okay." Within a year, Rainforest Crunch was on the shelves. It was a great success. We did our first million-dollars-worth of trade by buying on 30 days and selling on 21. T