Updated: Jun 12
Last updated 6/12/23
Our Thoughts on A2A2
First, A2A2 is a casein protein thing, so it has little or no effect on cream, cultured cream, butter, ghee and other things made with cream. We are skeptics on the overall A2A2 science because of we think the studies are weak and do not distinguish between raw milk and processed milk.
The A2 Corporation (now named The A2 Milk Company Ltd.) in Australia/NewZealand has done a good job funding science on A2 genetics and marketing their conclusions and their patented A2/A2 genetic testing. We have studied some of the A2/A2 science and understand that the A1 casein protein has a stronger bond at one of its peptides, indicating that it may be harder to break it into its constituent amino acids.
The A2/A2 science is largely based on retrospective, correlative studies, and those studies do not distinguish between raw milk and processed milk. That A1 casein is harder to digest may be more about gut damage in the general population primarily, as the digestive system is supposed to break food down into amino acids. It may also mean that A2/A2 milk, when processed, is easier to digest. It may be that it is important in processed milk, but we don't recommend people drink commercial processed milk.
The marketing of A2A2 science has had a powerful effect on the family cow market, making it difficult to sell family cows that are not pure A2A2 genetics. To us this is an issue that should be questioned, as many wonderful family cows with A1 genetics produce great healthy milk.
The Milk Cure Docs Preferred A1?
Some of the milk cure doctors of the 1800's and early 1900's preferred milk from Holstein cows, which, today, are known to have more A1 genetics. They stated their preference more because of the lower cream content in Holstein milk which they felt more consistently cured their milk-cure patients of chronic disease. But the A1 casien protein, unknown in those times, could have been a factor in successful cures.
The Mayo clinic started as a "milk cure" clinic, but may have not been using the best milk cure protocol. Starting in the mid 1800's in Germany through about 1930 in the US, the "milk cure" was used in country clinics. We are most interested in Charles Sanford Porter's protocol which specifies going off all food, going on full bed rest, drinking a cup of low-cream raw cow's milk every waking hour for 30 to 60 days until all chronic issues are gone.
Experience Single-Moo Milk
We offer raw Single-Moo Milk, with one or two cow's milk in each jar and the name of the cows that produced the milk on each jar of milk. This allows our private association members to try different cows and see if they have favorites.
Some of our association members who have difficulty digesting processed milk, tasted raw milk for the first time from an A2/A2 raw dairy and assumed that they can only drink A2/A2 milk, when it was actually "raw" that made the difference for them. When we encouraged them to try any of our cows' raw milk, they found that it didn't make any difference as long as it was raw milk. A healthy gut likely has no issues, and any raw milk will be therapeutic for most people.
A few of our farm hands and association members with severe evidence of gut damage have occasionally noticed better digestion when they choose milk from our A2/A2 cows. The persistent peptide in A1 casein looks like a weak opioid, and it may slow the gut down if it's not broken down into its amino acids in a poorly functioning gut. If you have issues with constipation or other issues when you drink raw milk, then selecting A2/A2 milk may resolve those issues. After drinking A2/A2 raw milk for some time, A2/A1 and A1/A1 raw milk may become more easily digestible as your gut inflammation heals from the raw milk inputs. Learning about high-dose vitamin C is generally the best way to resolve issues of constipation.
A Practical Summary
So our answer to questions about A2/A2 milk is: first try any raw milk. Then, if you still have issues, try raw A2/A2 milk and see if your issues improve. We let you know which cows are A2/A2, so you can see if it makes a difference for you. That's the best way to do "science." Since we offer Single-Moo Milk, try different cows and see if one is more appealing or feels better or tastes better than another, understanding that an individual cow's milk is going to vary through the seasons. Many of our farm share owners have favorite cows, which means they rush to the drop point when we deliver to see if they can grab a jar from their favorite cow.
Because of the impact on the family cow market, our herd will slowly switch over to mostly A2/A2. Our bulls are A2/A2 bulls, so there will be more A2/A2 genetics as we replace cows over time. But it will take quite a few years.
Know Your Cow
Our current A2A2 cows are:
Chloe (Full horns, No pharma, Clarabelle's offspring)
Dinkie (Full horns, No pharma, Dori's offspring)
Buttercup (Full horns, No pharma, Princess Buttercup's offspring)
Sugar (Full horns, No pharma, Sadie's offspring)
Millie (Full horns, No pharma, Molly's offspring)
Lucy (Full horns, No pharma, Lucy's offspring)
Lacey (Registered Jersey, hornless, raised at another dairy)
Sadie (she was our second cow, probably close to 15 years old)
Brie (Full horns, No pharma, Blossom's granddaugter)
We have A1A2 cows in the milking line that we love. Here's a list:
Tinkerbelle (Full horns, No pharma, Clarabelle's offspring)
Lilly (Full horns, No pharma, Frida's offspring)
Abby (Full horns, No pharma, Anna's offspring)
April (Full horns, No pharma, Abby's offspring)
Bossy (Full horns, No pharma, Blossom's offspring)
Prancer (No horns, She came here from Organic Valley)
Bitty (Full horns, No pharma, Blossom's offspring)
Tiny (Full horns, No pharma, Tinkerbelle's offspring)
Mabel (Full horns, No pharma, Maddie's offspring)
Cutie (Naturally Polled, No pharma, Carrie's offspring)
More Important Factors? Pharma-free, Full Horns
Factors besides A2A2 genetics may be as important or more important for optimizing the health benefits of raw milk. Our farm doesn't like to alter God's design. It takes quite a few years to raise a set of cows according to our own standards. In the lists of cows above, we identify the cows that were raised here from a calf. These are cows that have never been altered by pharmaceutical products and normally have a full set of horns (if they aren't naturally polled like Cutie). Our other cows came from various sources, mostly from an Organic Valley dairy that we respect and buy cows from.
The dairy industry and the State have standards and public-realm requirements, based on their belief system, for injecting pharmaceutical products into cows. Our farm operates under contract law and the private domain, and we depend upon a different body of science than the "science" of the public domain. The peer-reviewed library at http://orthomolecular.org/ has decades of research papers (including some of our own articles on orthomolecular farming) about healing and optimizing health using God's nutrients. We also respect and use the latest microbiome science. We use the intelligence of raw milk (milk's prebiotic, probiotic, and enzymatic engines) to tune and balance the microbiome of the entire farm, to benefit the soil, plants, animals, farmers and farm share owners in our farm community. Microbiome science advanced considerably following the Human Microbiome Project, which started in 2007.
Horns are generally removed from dairy cows when they are calves because they can injure people and cows. We find that our horned cows are basically as easy to manage as our polled cows. Historically, people left horns on family cows, and there is lore about horn quality recording the health history of the cow and improving the health benefits of the milk. Rudolph Steiner, founder of biodynamic farming, emphasized the importance of grazing cows with horns to enhance the pasture energy on the biodynamic farm. There also is lore about milk from horned cows being even healthier.
We have noticed that when a lone cow is looking for the rest of the herd on our property, it moos and then, even though the herd does not respond by mooing back, it seems to then know which way to go to join the herd. Is it possible that horns serve a kind of sonar locator function for the cow?