Have You "Herd" About A2/A2 Milk?
Hey there! Are you new to Buckeye Country Creamery’s line of delicious dairy products? Did you know that we are a dairy devoted to producing A2/A2 milk? If you’re not quite sure what A2/A2 milk is, don’t worry- read on to learn more about what sets our milk apart from the next jug in the supermarket dairy case.
If you don’t consider yourself to be lactose intolerant, chances are you know someone who is, or just finds dairy products to be generally hard on digestion. Whether you’ve recently had to eliminate your favorite dairy foods from your diet, or you’ve been living dairy free (and missing it) for a long time, we’d like to encourage you to take a look at A2/A2 milk. It just might help you out.
Milk Proteins, Beta Casein, & BCM 7
We’ll try to keep the explanation simple here. If chemistry or genetics bring about scary images for you or take you back to a failed test or two… just bear with us. This is actually fascinating stuff!
In the chemical makeup of milk, you’ll find two primary groups of proteins. There are caseins, and then there is also whey. For the purpose of this post, we are going to focus in on the casein group. There are subtypes of caseins, with beta caseins being of particular interest to us. To get even more specific, in milk you can have A1 type beta casein and A2 type beta casein. Milk can contain A1 beta casein, A2 beta casein, or a mix of both, depending on the genetic code of each cow.
A1 and A2 beta casein are not created equal, and the difference can play a significant role in how milk interacts with your digestive system. At a certain spot in the amino acid chain of A1 beta casein, number 67 to be exact, there is histidine. In A2 beta casein, the difference is that we have proline in place of histidine.
When the histidine in A1 milk casein is broken down by your body, the production of a peptide called beta-casomorphin 7 or BCM 7 results. The story is different with A2 milk, as BCM 7 output has been found to be much lower following consumption.
Why does this matter? BCM 7 is known to cause inflammation in the human digestive system. This is believed to be the reason why some people experience stomach upset when drinking A1 milk, but not with A2 milk. For certain folks, the protein might actually be the culprit, rather than lactose intolerance!
A2/A2- Milk as it Should be
What does goat milk, sheep milk, human milk, and milk from most other mammals all have in common? A2/A2 protein! A2 protein is the naturally occurring beta casein in most mammalian milk. The prominence of A1 protein in cow’s milk is thought to have come into existence in part due to a mutation in certain dairy breeds, such as the Holstein. This occurred many, many years ago.
Much of the milk you would come across in stores comes from cows that actually have genes for both types of casein. This is an A1/A2 cow and they are very common on dairy farms. This cow has inherited a copy of the A1 gene from one parent, along with the A2 gene from the other parent.
As you might have guessed, cows that produce just A1 casein, having inherited A1 genes from both parents, are A1/A1. Here at Buckeye Country Creamery, each cow we milk is lab verified to be carrying only A2 genes from both her mother and father- making her A2/A2.
Can I Have a Sample, Please?
After the initial research into A2 milk took off in New Zealand and Australia, dairy farmers like us across the world have taken an interest in A2/A2 milk. Many selective breeding programs have been implemented to make A2 beta casein the dominant protein in cow’s once milk again.
While some breeds of dairy cattle, like Guernsey cattle, are more likely to produce A2/A2 milk than others, the only way to know for sure what type of protein a cow produces is to perform genetic testing. On our end, this testing is simple and non-invasive for the cow. All that is required for a lab submission is a few tufts of hair from the animal.
We apply the root end of the hair to a special paper with adhesive tape on it. Each sample is labeled with the ear tag (identification) number of the cow it came from and sent off to the lab to be analyzed. Testing for A2 genes is an extra expense for dairy producers, so keep that in mind when comparing prices at the store.
Is A2/A2 Milk Right for you?
Maybe! We’ve had plenty of customers report positive experiences with consuming our A2/A2 dairy products! Give our milk a try to see if it’s a good fit for you. Even if you can drink milk that’s not exclusively A2 with no ill effects, there are still other reasons to consider making the switch.
BCC milk is vat pasteurized, using a low-temperature method. This helps to preserve certain enzymes and other naturally occurring substances in milk that are otherwise destroyed by high heat. Our milk is also non-homogenized- which means the “good stuff,” AKA cream, still rises to the top around here! In addition, we don’t use high fructose corn syrup in our flavored milk. If you are looking to make healthy changes in your life this summer, our A2/A2 milk, drinkable yogurt, buttermilk, and mozzarella cheese are all great (and tasty!) things to start with.
Stop by our on-farm store today to stock up on your A2/A2 dairy needs, or visit one of our retail partners near you! Have a story about how Buckeye Country Creamery milk has helped you? We’d love to hear about it. Do you still have questions about our products? Get in touch with us here.