Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #32

A1 vs A2 Milk
(And The Holstein Connection)

Dateline: 22 May 2014

Fern, of the blog, Thoughts From Frank and Fern, e-mailed me and asked if I would help spread the word about the difference between A1 and A2 milk, and the possible health problems that can result from drinking A1 milk, which comes mostly from Holstein cows, which produce most of the milk that's consumed in America.

I have never heard of A1 and A2 milk, but I have known a few Holstein cows in my day and, frankly, I never trusted any of them. So this doesn't surprise me. 

Seriously, though, the difference between A1 and A2 milk is something we should all be aware of. You can read Fern's blog post here: Quality Homegrown Milk

And This Article From Mother Jones provides a lot more insights into A1 vs A2 milk.

photo link


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Very interesting, I have never heard about this. We had Guernsey cows growing up, I really miss that wonderful milk. I don't even drink what is in the stores now, it just doesn't taste right to me.

Kyle Sonnier said...

Hi Herrick,

We just took samples of hair from our Jersey cows' tail and sent them off to the American Jersey Association. They'll test for A1/A2 for about $17 and let you know the results. As always I absolutely love reading your blog posts and look forward to them. Thanks for all you do!

Lanita said...

We just picked up some Dexter cows, they are A2. Thanks for getting the word out on this. More people need to be made aware of it.

Frank and Fern said...

Mr. Kimball,

Thank you for helping to raise awareness about A1 vs. A2 milk. I really think people need the chance to make informed decisions when it comes to their own dairy animals.


Peter said...

Hello Mr. Kimball,

A customer of ours told us she felt 80% better on our raw A2 Jersey milk vs our raw A1 (she didn't explain her symptoms). I was surprised she could tell that big of difference. It seems like there's some validity to the issue.

Thanks for bringing up the topic.


Paige Rohe said...

Very interesting. I've recently learned about this. Very happy to hear that the test is cheap ($17 from a previous commenter) and easy to accomplish (just a hair sample). Makes me very happy to know I can have any dairy cow I'm interested in buying easily tested.

I have done some reading on this (more to come, looking up Devil in the Milk to read soon) and it seems to be very relevant. The A1/A2 mutation is mostly prevalent in black and white cows (as a general rule), but some Holsteins have A2 milk. It's heterozygous dominant and is very easy to breed out of the stock using all A2 bulls. They're starting to do that in NZ with good success and offer A2 only milk in other countries such as the UK, NZ and Australia.