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LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
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Bigwigs Are Listening to This Anthropologist's Nutty Idea: Save the Rain Forest by Profiting from It
He discovered his latest calling during a 1988 Grateful Dead benefit party at which he met Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, an ardent environmentalist himself. Clay soon visited Ben & Jerry's Vermont plant with 50 pounds of nuts, fresh from Brazil, and stirred up a batch of Rainforest Crunch in Cohen's kitchen. The flavor (as ice cream and as candy) has been a hit ever since. "The amazing thing about Jason," says Cohen, "is he's working in the nonprofit sector, but he's extremely entrepreneurial." Clay returns virtually all the profit from produce sales to the forest people.
As he takes his vision into the corridors of corporate power—30 companies are interested, and the Body Shop chain will soon introduce cosmetics made with ingredients from the Amazon—Clay is still traveling a fast orbit. "I don't have time to be intimidated," he says. "I've got one shot, so I'm not going to lose it."
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