There’s a reason why so many Americans have become lactose intolerant and the proof may be in the milky pudding. According to research, the problem may have to do with the inability to digest A1 protein, a compound that is usually found in milk from Holstein cows. These cows produce a large chunk of U.S. milk and some of Europe’s too.
So how can you avoid feeling queasy without quitting dairy all together? One answer could be to guzzle milk with A2 protein, which is apparently more gut friendly.
The mainstream dairy industry in the United States may be more interested in the A1/A2 debate than it lets on. For example, US companies that sell cow semen for breeding purposes maintain information on the exact A1/A2 genetics of all of their offerings. And breeders have already developed A2 Holsteins to replace the A1 varieties typically used in confined agricultural feeding operations. “There is absolutely no problem in moving across to A2 and still having these high-production cows,” says [Keith] Woodford, the author of Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health, and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk, who has in more recent years worked as a consultant for A2 Corp.
But the transition to A2 milk would take a bit of money and a lot of time—probably about a decade, Woodford believes. “The mainstream industry has always seen it as a threat,” he says, “whereas another way of looking at it is, hey, this can actually bring more people to drinking milk.”
For now, here in the United States, the best way to get milk with a higher-than-average A2 content is to buy it from a dairy that uses A2-dominant cow breeds such as the Jersey, the Guernsey, or the Normande. In Northern California, for example, Sonoma County’s Saint Benoit Creamery specifies on its milk labels that it uses “pastured Jersey cows.”
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
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