There are lots of different milk choices available in the market and it can be overwhelming to make the right choice for you and your family.
Today, let’s talk about A1 and A2 milk. Let’s go!
Milk is produced by all mammals to provide sustenance and nourishment for their young. Since the time humans began animal husbandry and farming, we have supplemented our food source with milk from domesticated animals. For thousands of years, humans have been drinking milk, and using it to make cheese, butter, curd, and whey. Did you know the earliest evidence of cheesemaking dates back 8,000 - 10,000 years ago? Clearly, humankind has had a long relationship with milk!
Historically mammals produced primarily A2 milk. Approximately 5,000 years ago, a genetic mutation occurred (both by nature and human intervention), that caused some animals to produce A1 milk.
Can you guess which one of these mammals doesn't produce A2 milk? Keep reading to get the answer!
But what do A1 and A2 mean and what is the difference? We’re glad you asked!
Both A1 and A2 are beta caseins that form a complex protein found in cow’s milk. Beta caseins make up about 80% of the protein found in cows’ milk and are important suppliers of amino acids, carbohydrates, and the essential elements of calcium and phosphorous to the body.
The difference between A1 and A2 beta-caseins is just one amino acid. As you’ll see, this one little amino acid makes a huge difference to your health.
When you drink A1 milk, the A1 beta caseins release a bioactive peptide called BCM-7 in the gut during the digestion process. BCM-7 is classified as an opioid and observational studies show an increased risk of the onset of Type 1 diabetes, heart disease, bloating and indigestion, impaired immune system, and increased incidence of auto-immune diseases.
Drinking A2 milk reduces your exposure to these illnesses and consumers of A2 milk have reported a decrease in digestive issues like bloating and loose stools.
Today, A2 milk is produced by goats, sheep, camels, and indigenous Indian Desi cows like Gir, Tharparkar and Sahiwal. A2 milk is also closest to human breast milk, which is also A2 milk. In India, indigenous Bos Indicus cows, distinguished by their signature hump and dewlap, produce A2 milk and are naturally adapted to the hot climate and are able to withstand high temperatures.
European breeds like Holstein and mixed breeds produce A1 milk and are not naturally adapted to the Indian climate.
So, if A2 milk is better for you, then why do some dairy farmers have imported breeds like the Holstein cow? Good question!
In comparison to indigenous Indian breeds like the Gir cow, a Holstein cow yields 3-4 times more milk. This makes these breeds more profitable. Because these cows are naturally less adaptable to the climate, these breeds often require more frequent use of antibiotics and a large infrastructure to manage and rear these cows.
While some dairy farmers opt for indigenous Indian cows, because their yield is lower, they may enhance production with the use of artificial hormones and modified feed.
At Milk & Meadows, all of the milk and dairy products we offer are produced only by indigenous Indian cows and our policy is NO artificial hormones for our cows. Our cows roam free on our farm and are fed a mixture of seasonal farm-grown grasses, seeds and traditional Indian grains. Sometimes, Mr. Kapur, our founder brings them special treats like fresh watermelon in the summer!
At our farm, antibiotics are only ever administered as a last resort, after traditional Indian cow caring methods have been exhausted. In case an antibiotic is administered to a cow, her milk is not bottled or used in any products until 4 days after the last dose. Milk & Meadows raw Gir cow A2 milk and dairy products are always hormone and antibiotic free!