Welcome to the 2nd installment of "Social Entrepreneurs - They're Just Like Us!". Meet 2017 Diana Davis Spencer Fellow Tom McDougall, Founder of 4PFoods.
2017 Diana Davis Spencer Fellow Tom McDougall is an expecting father, foodie and the founder of 4PFoods. 4PFoods is a social enterprise focused on providing access to healthy quality food. His early years in upstate New York watching farmlands being overrun by developers, coupled with his time in China importing goods gave him firsthand insight into the devastating environmental, social & economic costs of a globalized food system. Learn more about Tom and his social enterprise below.
An Interview With 2017 Diana Davis Spencer Fellow Tom McDougall
Q: What inspired you to start your social enterprise?
A: I grew up surrounded by farmland in upstate New York. Much of that land was sold off to developers because the farms couldn’t sustain themselves. Later in life, I spent considerable time in China working with factories to import manufactured goods into the U.S. I saw firsthand what the true environmental and social costs were of a globalized system that puts financial profit above all else. These two worlds collided when I began to understand the inequities that are underpinning our food system today. Ultimately, this collision shaped my desire to use food as a tool for social justice: If we can build a company that changes the way our food system works (or doesn’t work, for most people), we will need to tackle many other challenges along the way. That idea spoke to my soul and I knew it would become my life’s work. It has manifested itself in 4P Foods.
Q: What was the most important lesson you learned as a child?
A: Be grateful and gracious. Everything in life, including life itself, is a gift to be cherished, revered, and shared.
Q: If you could take a #selfie with anyone who would it be?
A: Tshering Tobgay, The Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Bhutan, the only country in the world that does not measure their economic success through GDP but rather through GNH: Gross National Happiness. What would the world look like if our accounting systems shifted to capture more than just financial outcomes?
Q: What your theme song?
A: Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Q: How do you want to be remembered?
A: I hope to be remembered as a loving father with an impressive library of Dad jokes. A caring husband who is constantly in awe of his wife and her talents. A supportive son, brother, and friend who wouldn’t be who he is without such wonderful people. And finally, someone who spent his life living his values through his work. If just a few more people have access to good, nourishing, sustainable foods and the food system is better because of it, I will rest easy being remembered by anyone who wants to remember me.