Milk lovers rejoice! Snowville Creamery’s extraordinary milks from grass grazed cows eating only non-GMO feed and forage have gotten even better.Now all Snowville’s products come from cows tested to have A2/A2 genetics.A2/A2 genetics means the cows produce only the A2 type beta casein protein. Some research has shown A2/A2 cow’s milk to be easier to digest than the A1 milk that is predominantly produced by cows in the U.
S.A2 is the milk protein cows produced before they were first domesticated over 10,000 years ago. All human milk is A2.For more information on A1 and A2 milk, visit our informational page on A1 and A2 genetics at http://www.snowvillecreamery.com/a1-and-a2-beta-casein-in-cow-milk.htmlWhen Snowville Creamery started processing milk, we were committed to only sourcing milk from dairy farmers who use sustainable pasture grazing methods, including managing their herd without the use of artificial growth hormones.
Milk from grass grazed cows is higher in omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which have benefits for human health. Pasture grazing is the natural diet for the cows and contributes to their health and well-being.We later added the requirement that the farmers not feed grain or forage produced with biotechnology (GMOs) and we paid them a premium for their milk to offset the cost of the more expensive non-GMO feed.
Studies have linked GMOs to health problems in both humans and animals.About five years ago we became aware of the book Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford, which introduced the fact that there are two types of cows, designated as A1 and A2.The genetics of the cow (or human or goat or sheep) determine what kinds of proteins are produced in the milk. Humans, goats, and sheep all produce milk that has only A2 protein.
Cows, on the other hand, had a genetic mutation thousands of years ago that made some cows produce an A1 protein in milk. Many people who generally have digestive discomfort after drinking milk have reported that they do not have issues with milk that is from A2/A2 cows. In addition, studies have linked milk from A1 cows to health problems in humans including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism, and other serious non-communicable diseases.
Once we became aware of these studies, we began encouraging our farmers to transition their herds to A2 genetics.We are proud to say that all of our products are now produced from cows that have been tested to have A2/A2 genetics. Snowville Creamery continues to improve the choices in outstanding dairy products. Warren and Victoria Taylor June 1, 2016Following the 2007 release of the book Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford, there has been growing concern expressed by the general populace about A1 and A2 beta-casein content in milk.
Milk is about 85% water. The remaining 15% is the milk sugar lactose, protein, fat, and minerals. The protein portion is 80% casein and 20% whey. Whey does not coagulate or make a curd as the milk acidifies. Beta-casein is 30% of the total protein content in milk, or about 30% of the total protein content in cow’s milk.A2 beta-casein is the beta-casein form cows have produced since before they were first domesticated, over 10,000 years ago.
It is considered safe and nutritious and has no known negative effects on human health. Sometime in the past few thousand years, a natural mutation occurred in some European dairy herds that changed the beta-casein they produced. The gene encoding beta-casein was changed such that the 67th amino acid in the 209 amino acid chain that is the beta-casein protein was switched from proline to histidine.
This new kind of beta-casein that was created is known as A1 beta-casein, and is generally more common in many of the big black-and-white cow breeds of European descent such as the Holstein and Friesian. Due to their size, milk production, and demeanor, these breeds of cow are used to produce the vast majority of Northern Europe and America’s milk.Each cow carries two copies of the gene encoding beta-casein, with a genotype of A1/A1, A1/A2, or A2/A2.
Neither the A1 nor A2 trait appears to be dominant, which means that the milk produced by an A1/A2 cow will likely contain equal proportions of A1 and A2 beta-casein. A1/A1 cows will obviously only produce A1 beta-casein, just as A2/A2 cows will only produce A2 beta-casein. While each dairy herd is capable of being quite different from average, a broad characterization of the A1 or A2 genetics of breeds can be made.
Northern European black-and-white breeds such as Friesian Holstein usually carry A1 and A2 alleles in equal proportion. Jersey cows and other Southern European breeds probably have about 1/3 A1 and 2/3 A2 genetics. Guernsey cows generally have about 10% A1 and 90% A2 genetics.The cause for concern with milk containing A1 beta-casein is that the 67th amino acid switch from proline to histidine readily allows a digestive enzyme to cut out a 7 amino acid segment of the protein immediately adjacent to that histidine.
When proline is present in that location (as it is in A2 beta-casein), that same segment is either not separated at all or the separation occurs at a very low rate. The 7 amino acid segment that is separated from A1 beta casein is known as beta-casomorphin-7, often abbreviated as BCM-7.BCM-7 is the real “devil” in A1 milk for a number of reasons. It is an exogenous (doesn’t naturally occur within the human body) opioid that interacts with the human digestive system, internal organs, and brainstem.
While no direct causal relationships have been demonstrated between BCM-7 and these diseases due to a wide range of contributing factors for each illness, BCM-7 has been linked to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism, and other serious non-communicable diseases as well.See Also: What Is Cow Milk Made Of
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Four years ago, I wrote an article and filmed a video about the differences between A1 and A2 milk. The A1 versus A2 factor refers to the different type of casein in raw milk from various breeds of cows. Note that sheep milk, goat milk, and camel milk are all A2 milk regardless of breed.Much of the hubbub regarding A1 versus A2 milk at that time and in the ensuing years resulted from an article written by Dr.
Tom Cowan based on the book The Devil in the Milk which claims that cows made a genetic split about 5,000 years ago which resulted in Holsteins and Friesians (black and white cows) becoming favored for domestication because of calmness and other traits. These cows became the A1 dominant cows of today which supposedly produce milk which acts like an opiate when consumed and which epidemiological studies have implicated in heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia.
The book also claims that old fashioned breeds of cows produce A2 milk that is far healthier and that genetic testing is required to determine if a cow has A1 or A2 genetics. As I have read more about this issue, it seems that in reality, we have no way of knowing whether any of this is true or not. There is no other research that confirms this historical split. If this genetic divergence truly occurred 5,000 years ago and A1 milk is one of the sources of heart disease and makes autism worse, why doesn’t this match up with what other researchers are finding? Unnatural feeding of dairy cows, confinement and pasteurization/homogenization that got started early in the last century are far more likely culprits for any health issues associated with milk consumption, not cow genetics.
If fact, in the comments section of that post I wrote four years ago, Mark McAfee, Founder of Organic Pastures Dairy in California, said the following: Sarah, I agree with much of what you have shared….but let me help out by filling in the blanks a little. I am very close to this A-2 subject matter and can help clear the air. Dr. Cowan has privately apologized to me for writing the forward to The Devil in the Milk.
He said that if he knew then what he knows now he would not have said what he wrote. The A-2 story is far from conclusive. Instead of “The Devil is in the Milk”….the better statement is.. “The Real Devil is in the CAFO Grain Feeding of the Cows and Processing of the Milk”. Keep up the great teaching and nutritional work!! Most kind regards, Mark McAfeeFounder Organic Pastures Dairy CompanyFresno CA I recently emailed Mark to see if he had any additional information on the A1 and A2 milk issue, and he responded by saying that he would be attending the upcoming International Milk Genomics conference in Aarhus, Denmark, where A2 will be discussed in depth.
But, at the present time, his opinion is the same – that the jury is still out on the A1 versus A2 milk issue and whether cow genetics is of any importance whatsoever. Should You Care About A1 and A2 Milk? While it is clear that cow genetics plays a role in how a herd responds to environmental conditions and can be used to select the most appropriate breed for a given locale, it is far less certain whether cow genetics plays a role in production of the best milk from a nutritional point of view.
The most important thing for the consumer at the present time is to ensure that the farm they purchase their milk from has a healthy herd which grazes on well kept, unsprayed green pasture. In addition, visual examination of the milk to assess the size and color of the creamline indicating the presence of fat soluble vitamins and co-factors is most important. Organic Pastures Dairy in California seems to be of the same mindset.
The FAQ on the OP website says the following: We do not test for A1/A2 genetics. It is our opinion that raw, non-homogenized milk, from organic cows that graze on pasture makes the most nutritious milk. We have 10 different breeds that make our milk delicious and nutritious. We believe the genetic diversity of our cows adds to the overall nutritional diversity of their milk. Well said. Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist More Information Organic Milk: Healthfood Trojan Horse 101 Uses for Soured, Raw Milk The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.