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Two Raw Sisters are two chefs that have set it their mission to inspire, motivate, and educate individuals to recognize the benefits of plant-based eating. So far they have released two cookbooks and are set to release their new cookbook ‘Salads’ by the end of the year. Through these releases, they are inspiring individuals to think about vegetables, grains, and fruits before putting any additional dairy, meat, or fish on the platter. This shows that they are working towards three of the sustainable development goals (SDG's), specifically good health and well-being as the main one, and also life on land, and life below water.
Their whole business is an innovation. They’re educating people about the benefits that come with plant-based eating and the benefits of changing behaviors to be more sustainable. One great aspect of their businesses is that most recipes incorporate a lot of pantry staples and show people different ways to use them.
The third SDG is good health and well-being. This business educating and inspiring through cookbooks and workshops is aiding in this SDG for numerous reasons. Plant-based ‘diets’ are mostly made up of plants such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. One on this diet is also able to incorporate beans, seeds, and nuts. These plants should be the main component of meals instead of meat, which is a typical habit of Western society.
Plant-based diets can support one's immune system through vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. They’re also able to reduce inflammation within the body which can help reduce arthritis and certain cancers. This type of diet is also high in fibre and can help improve the well-being of one's gut, which affects overall well being (Alexander, 2019).
There are also numerous advantages for the health of the planet through this lifestyle as they aim to think less about the meat, fish, or dairy, and more about the plants. This leads to a reduction in many areas, such as less greenhouse gas production, less air, soil and water pollution as well as the eventual reduction of meat production. There is also less damage to wildlife habitats; and less agricultural water use (Grant, 2017).
Both of the creators of Two Raw Sisters have faced their own illnesses, including chronic fatigue, endometriosis, and an eating disorder that came from being an athlete with a training obsession. They both found themselves in a position where they were unhealthily obsessed with being healthy. This led them to be restrictive with foods, which lead to them acquiring a lot of deficiencies.
For 5 years, Margo found herself being told by healthcare professionals that there was nothing they could do to help with her Chronic Fatigue, then she was introduced to gut-health / plant-based food. “Then doing gut health and three months later, I felt like a different person. So it was the illnesses were definitely the catalyst of it,” Margo shared discussing how her illnesses were a catalyst to start Two Raw Sisters.
Another reason behind the creation of their brand was that the Two Raw Sisters saw people who would always say they were tired and stressed, but not putting any effort into their food. The people they saw would often simply buy takeaways which Margo states “is like the worst thing you can do for your health. Simply put aside an hour a day, focus on consuming whole unprocessed ingredients. That can make such a difference.”
From their experiences stemmed the Two Raw Sisters' philosophy, that they don't want to be in the kitchen three times a day 7 days a week. Instead, they use and create recipes for meals that can last at least three days in the fridge and breakfasts that can last around five days. By doing this people can make all their meals full of nutrients at the start of the week and not need to put thought into what they are having for lunch or breakfast.
Encouraging a plant-based lifestyle through tasty cooking can help individuals across the globe that suffer some numerous illnesses and diseases, by helping them learn to restore their gut health by increasing their intake of plants (fibre). The Two Raw Sisters cookbooks and workshops are showing people how easy it is to incorporate this plant-based diet into their everyday lives. As Margo indicated in the interview, health isn’t really a short term or long term process, as it is different for all individuals. Some might see a change within a few days, others might feel different within weeks, and for some change may take months, as was the case for Margo who saw a huge difference in her chronic fatigue within 3 months after she bettered her gut through plant-based meals. It takes longer than any quick fix or medication, but the reason behind this states Margo “is that you’re solving the root cause of the issue” therefore fixing gut health can seriously take its time but has numerous benefits for the individuals dealing with previous medical issues.
Medical Journals have shown that plant-based eating does have multiple benefits, especially for patients. There is the possibility to start reducing the number of medications one takes to treat various diseases. It can also decrease risks of certain cancers as well as decrease the risk of death from ischemic heart disease. There are also links to a reduction in high blood pressure, and obesity when patients were put onto a plant-based diet (Tuso, 2013).
Two Raw Sisters' whole business is an innovation towards how people think about food. Since the creation of their company they have launched 2 cookbooks both filled with plant-based meals and have created an app that has different recipes that gets updated weekly.
They have also created Hello Raw from their company that is a collection of pre-made salads mixed with different textures and fusions of flavors. They currently stock these at Fresh Choice, New Worlds, and Pak ‘n’ Saves around New Zealand. Each salad is made from unprocessed and locally sourced ingredients, and each salad acts as a great entry point into plant-based eating for individuals who are trying to increase their plant intake.
They currently are a small company that is mainly family-based. Over time they have supported each other in maintaining a good work and life balance, which is something they didn’t have when they first started.
Included in the company's offerings are a range of workshops that can either be a private workshop, which is tailored to what is wanted, or be a specific workshop, which is about a specific area of food such as salads or desserts. These workshops have been incredibly successful for the business and are aimed to be held done throughout the year all over New Zealand. So far the business' two cookbooks have both gone to the top 5 best sellers in NZ and have sold over 35,000 copies, indicating that people are loving their work and taking the logic of plants before meat into consideration.
One of the main benefits of applying Two Raw Sisters' teachings is that it helps nourish bodies back to being healthy by a focus on a plant-based diet. Because Margo and Rosa saw this healthy change in their own bodies, they decided to do their best to show more individuals how they too can change their diets so that their bodies return to their natural best-selves. Healing the gut is another big part of the process as it is the root cause for many diseases that our society is currently facing. The Two Raw Sisters understand that incorporating nutritional, unprocessed foods into everyday lives can have a huge impact on the microbiome of guts. Through their company, they help numerous individuals within New Zealand commit to a plant-based lifestyle through easy recipes that can be stored for up to three days. The healthier individuals there are, the healthier their society is as well.
Interestingly, plant-based diets can also save consumers money not only on their daily meals, but also on the costs of doctors bills and hospital admissions. People like Margo, who felt drowsy, lazy, overall unhealthy, and had doctors do not know what is wrong with her, can benefit as well (Annemans, 2018).
Plant-Based diets benefit the environment in multiple ways since they are focused on eating ‘plants’ instead of meat, dairy, fish, or poultry. By applying the Two Raw Sisters recommendations, people can consume less meat, dairy, or fish focused recipes and can instead focus on plants. This lessens consumption of these products greatly and can improve the environment's health as well. 77% of agricultural land use goes towards the production of meat and dairy, so by decreasing the consumption of these will eventually lead to a reduction in the amount of meat and dairy produced (Hudepohl, 2020). Much is the same case with water. Beef alone uses 1847 gallons of water to produce one pound of food, so water would be saved (Hudepohl, 2020). Greenhouse gases would also be reduced by eating a plant-based diet, as cows produce methane which is a greenhouse gas like a carbon dioxide, but worse (Grant, 2017). Less deforestation would occur once farmers respond to a reduction in the amount of meat demanded by consumers, since more trees would be capturing carbon on the land that would have been turned into a farm raising livestock (Grant, 2017). Cleaner waterways would also come as a benefit from switching to a plant-based diet as ammonia emissions that come from livestock production would lessen with the declining demand (Grant, 2017).
Obviously, the change to becoming plant-based or having a healthy microbiome won’t happen overnight, but what the Two Raw Sisters are doing by encouraging people to think more about vegetables instead of meat and fish is a needed change within our society, as individuals and the planet can benefit from this change in lifestyle.
Alexander, H. (2019, November). 5 benefits of a plant-based diet. MD Anderson Cancer Center. https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/5-benefits-of-a-plant-based-diet.h20-1592991.htm
Annemans, L. (2018, February 14). Plant-based eating is cost-effective. Alpro Foundation. https://www.alprofoundation.org/news-events/plant-based-eating-is-cost-effective/
Grant, J. (2017). Commentary Time for change Benefits of a plant-based diet. Canadian Family Physician • Le Médecin de Famille Canadien |, 63. https://www.cfp.ca/content/cfp/63/10/744.full.pdf
Hudepohl, D. (2020, April 22). Plant-Based Diets and Environmental Sustainability. Forks over Knives. https://www.forksoverknives.com/wellness/vegan-diet-helps-environmental-sustainability/
Tuso, P. (2013). Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. The Permanente Journal, 17(2), 61–66. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/12-085
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Margo Flanagan, Founder - Creative and Marketing Director
Two Raw Sisters' main goal is to inspire, educate, and motivate individuals to recognize the numerous benefits that plant based eating has not only for the individual's well-being but also for the well-being of the planet.
Their other main goal is to change peoples' mindsets on how they start their meal when preparing a dish. Normally people start with the meat and then add the vegetables as a last minute side. The Two Raw Sisters are challenging this way of cooking by asking people to instead start the meal preparation with the plants and whole foods, then add the meat or fish if desired.