Show #252 – Grass Roots Sustainability with Eilish Maloney


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And on this week’s show!

Continuing on our food-source series, this week I interview community champion and chef, Eilish Maloney and I hope in hearing her story it helps more people realise that it can start with us, and if it doesn’t start with us, we join others who’ve started good things and support their work to collectively create a bigger impact. The Southern Highlands, NSW is a beautiful part of the world, and even though Eilish left her hometown to work in some of the best kitchens in the world, she felt called to come home and start something to connect people to food sources more meaningfully. The What If Society was born, helping to inspire locals and hospitality businesses to waste less, through creative products like condensed milk from cafe milk that don’t all get finished at the end of the day, to pickles from surplus produce, to restaurants in the region composting all scraps as a collective. It’s inspiring to hear these stories and hopefully inspire you to connect to your local food champions and support their work – or just maybe, start something yourself!

Questions I asked Eilish:

  • What led you to want to work in food?
  • How did becoming a chef impact your life, your view of the world, of how we fed people?
  • You worked in some pretty stellar kitchens – what do you wish all home cooks knew how to do that was dead easy yet transformative in terms of one’s enjoyment of a dish one cooks and serves?
  • At what point did you want to return home and create something earthier, local, and impactful from a sustainability/regenerative perspective?
  • And so, what is the What If society?
  • What are some of the ways you have honoured the cycles of life/nature?
  • Was it really challenging to implement a zero waste plan? Where were the sticking points as you got everything up and running?
  • If someone were in another town or city wanting to get something like this up and running, could you share any mistakes you made to help someone else make less of them?
  • What’s your vision for the future when you consider What If, plugged into a network of so many wonderful people doing excellent work to close loops, honour nature’s cycles, and improve?
  • Other helpful links:

Helpful links:

Find out more about the What If Society HERE.

Join Eilish on Instagram @whatifsociety and on Facebook

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Enjoy the show,






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