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The Survivalist’s Case For Yak Burgers

The unusual meat is tasty, better for the environment, and more secure in troubled times. So why can’t you find it at the corner store?

Somewhere on the road between Montrose and Fruita, Colorado, rancher Bob Hasse and I pass a Burger King, and I ask if he fantasizes about getting yak on the fast-food chain’s menu. “Nope,” he says quickly. “Not even in 50 years.” We’ve just collected eight meat-ready yak from one of his pastures—with the help of a few aluminum baseball bats for insurance—and 8,000 pounds of the shaggy Himalayan animals are bumping up against each other in Hasse’s trailer as we head north to the slaughterhouse.

Yak simply has no place in fast food’s system of optimized convenience and immediacy. Yet at the same time, the conscious American meat eater is eager for an alternative to the gigantic footprint that cattle produces—and Hasse can’t keep up with demand.

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What the Designated Drivers Campaign Can Teach Those in the Youth Service Movement

In the mid eighties, nobody in the U.S. knew what a designated driver was. The concept simply didn't exist here. It was actually a Scandinavian...


In the mid-eighties, nobody in the U.S. knew what a designated driver was. The concept simply didn't exist in America. It was actually a Scandinavian idea. Harvard Public Health Professor Jay Winsten cleverly and systematically seeded the notion in popular culture through a partnership with all the major Hollywood studios and the television networks beginning in 1988.

Within four television seasons, 160 prime time episodes addressed drinking and driving and the notion of the designated driver as "the life of the party" swiftly went mainstream. By 1991, more than half of Americans under 30 reported that they had been a designated driver. Winsten's coup of harnessing the power of popular entertainment media for a broad pro-social campaign was revolutionary.

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You may have noticed that we're big on service here at GOOD. We've long been inspired by and helped support the work of civic ventures and community-based projects, from the big players like City Year and 826 National in the education space, to upstarts like the Noun Project and Verynice in the social design space. One of the common threads that runs through these organizations is that they are powered by service and volunteering—these folks are problem-solving on a hyperlocal scale, but with scalable impact that presents useful models to other aspiring social entrepreneurs.

This week in Washington, D.C., Points of Light hosts its annual Conference on Volunteering and Service—one of the largest gatherings anywhere of civic leaders and social hackers. Thousands will be in DC to connect and inspire, to learn from and train each other. GOOD will be there too.

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