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be A2 milk

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Postby JamsHundred » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:38 am

I was reading the dairy topic and started to make this comment but thought it might be best to start a new topic.

Are UK breeders familiar with A2 milk? My US herd is one of only two that were originally tested and confirmed with animals that were homozageous for A2 milk production. The test was not available until very recently, but is now offered in the US.

The research originated in New Zealand, and for more information a google search will bring up all the specifics.
That research believed that the herds responsible for the milk found in the marketplace is also responsible for the high incidence of heart disease and diabetes in modern populations. A2 milk has different beta caseins.

A Dexter breeder in the US was able to purchase A2 milk in a store from a licensed dairy and reported the 2% milk she purchased was very rich with the consistency of whole milk.

A high percentage of Dexters tested in the US from traditional Dexter bloodlines were homozageous for A2 milk. It is said that the Guernsey breed also produce A2 milk.

If the research on the health benefits of A2 milk are substantiated and heritage breeds produce A2 milk as some suspect, this will be another boon to the "homestead cows" that are most often minor breeds today.

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Postby Duncan MacIntyre » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:47 am

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Postby Woodmagic » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:12 pm

“Current claims for the health benefits of A2 milk need to remain restricted and comply with the appropriate regulations on food claims.”
I read it to say that experiments to date have proved nothing. I had understood that much of the publicity was conducted by vested interests, and I believe that even if the milk does qualify from a herd, individual cows vary. I would not think at this stage one should base ones breeding on the assumption that there is any conclusive proof of the value.
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Postby Broomcroft » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:43 pm

There is a lot of evidence re the benefits of drinking milk from cows that eat grass, and other dairy products and it is backed up by more and more evidence as time goes by, and it makes sense to me. Google Union of Concerned Scientists for info and many other, independent sources. I would have thought that any health benefits for humans are more likely to do with what the cow has been eating than what breed they are, but you never know. To me, the more natural something is, the better it is. So milk from a Jersey etc is better than milk from some of the high-production milkers nowadays.



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Postby JamsHundred » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:12 pm

I was very fortunate to have a Dexter friend with a dairy friend in New Zealand and samples from animals in our herds were tested in the beginning out of curiosity and because we surmised that Dexters having the positive qualities and characteristics we value would likely be producers of A2 milk. This fellow US breeder discovered the A2 milk information and then began to research and disseminate information among US breeders and once we began to test and confirm A2 in our Dexters it created an interest for other breeders who recognized the possibilities. Now we have several labs in the US that will be doing the test.

There IS controversy over the the benefits of A2 milk versus A1 milk, but the surprise for me would be if the dairy industry didn't turn over every possible leaf to find any shred of information to discredit the findings of the original NZ researchers. If there is a significant health benefit created by the difference in the beta caseins in the milk. . . . wow! Win/win situation for the Dexter breed with both the unique and wonder beef and then healthier milk as well!

Like Clive. . . . I find the numbers are consistently growing worldwide of informed consumers and producers who realize raising and feeding livestock as naturally as possible creates healthier food for the marketplace.

I am sure the test will become more readily available worldwide in the very near future so this is really an exciting time for home based or small farm producers of meat and dairy products.

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Postby Duncan MacIntyre » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:26 pm

As far as I have read, which I must admit is a very quick look online, the term "A2Milk" is a registered name of a commercial dairy organisation. So the very use of the term needs care. The benefits are also not fully proven though they seem quite likely to be real. Any benefits from dairying with Dexters in UK at least would be very difficult, because we would need to be aiming at a high price niche market to get full benefits of the good product, just as we should not be selling our beef cheaply. But the UK dairy industry is very much geared to the big time. And liable to get bigger or disappear.

Duncan, responsible for 140 less dairy cows this week.
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Postby Woodmagic » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:20 pm

You are what you eat! I would go along with Clive on this one, I think that premise has more future than the controversy over A2. I also agree with Duncan - milk in this country has so small a margin that a niche market would still not give a large enough premium to make Dexter A2 milk an attractive proposition, even if it transpired there was something in it. However I believe there is a limited future for the ‘good living’ trend to produce for the household, and I would like the beef producer to remember that the suckler also needs to have a respectable yield. There may be some future in specialist cheeses or ice cream on a modest scale.
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Postby Broomcroft » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:27 pm

That really could be quite something, Judy. Is it only more established / older breeds that are A2? If that's the case, I certainly wouldn't ignore it.

As Duncan says, because it's "A2 Milk Inc", it makes you suspicious right from the start.

You are spot on with the power of the commercial producers. It is the same with beef. If you look at beef sites for cattle / producers which are grain fed, they make a convincing but erroneous argument in favour of grain fed beef, and they distort the facts in a way that only a politician could do (Except Obama of course :) ). Their argument is basically that beef doesn't contain that much omega-3 etc so you might as well eat our stuff!
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Postby domsmith » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:31 pm

i was asked at a farmers market 2 weeks ago if i knew anyone who milked guernseys. i said she would be lucky in scotland but she might find jerseys.
that was no good it was something todo with a2 milk she was after. it went straight over my head.

had i known that my dexters might have fitted the bill, i would have rubbed my hands together and said step this way, how much are you wanting to pay!!

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Postby Inger » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:24 pm

New NZ research has decided that A2 milk is no better than A1 milk for the health of people drinking it. The government didn't want children to stop drinking milk, because the benefits outweighed the possible bad effects.

That hasn't stopped people from buying A2 milk or going to goat's milk, Soy milk or rice milk as an ulternative to cow's milk, where there is a history of allergies to cow's milk.

By the way, nearly all the milking cows in NZ are feed grass, hay or silage, so which ever milk you prefer, they're being fed the right stuff. ;)

Also, the A.I. companies have stated that there are enough bulls in the A.I system carrying the A2 gene, that they could produce totally A2 commercial milking herds throughout NZ within 2 or 3 generations of heifers. So if the general public demanded it, a change over could be made relatively quickly. But it looks like the heat has gone off the subject here in NZ. The health department sure doesn't think a change is necessary.




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Postby Liz D » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:29 pm

I often hear about people 'going to goats' milk' because of their lactose allergy or intollerence to commercial cows' milk. It always makes me wonder what's really causing the allergic reaction or intollerence in commercial milk since on average goats' milk has more lactose ???
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