What Is A2 Raw Milk, And Why Is It Good For You?
For generations, milk has stood out as a wonder food. Linked to strong bones and proper growth and development, milk has been a dietary staple for many of us since childhood. What many people don’t know, though, is that not all milk is created equal.
In fact, most of the milk available in grocery stores today is commercially raised & produced, far away from any actual pastures or traditional farm experience. It’s also highly processed, making it a far cry from the “natural food” companies market it as.
Fortunately, there’s a better alternative: A2 raw milk.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what A2 raw milk is. We’ll also cover what makes it different from most of the milk in your local grocery store, and why it offers so many health benefits.
Let’s dive in.
What is A2 Raw Milk?
A2 milk, also called A2 raw milk, contains 100% A2 beta-casein protein, which mammals evolved to digest.
A2 Beta-casein is the protein that humans, goats, dogs, sheep, and lions all produce in their milk naturally. It’s also what most heritage breeds of cows produced in their milk just a few hundred years ago.
Most modern cows, however, don’t produce A2 beta-casein. Instead, they produce a type of protein that’s pretty new to both the bovine and human digestive tracts: A1 beta-casein.
- During the age of industrialized farming, a natural genetic mutation affected most of the cows in Europe, causing them to produce the A1 protein in their milk.
- Scientists believe the mutation was the cows’ response to the stress of industrialized farm conditions and poor animal husbandry practices.
- As people and farming practices migrated around the world, the mutation spread.
- Eventually, it became the dominant gene in dairy cows throughout most of the developed world.
Unfortunately, the A1 protein was new to people and cows alike. Despite having lived with dairy cows for hundreds of years, humans haven’t evolved to digest A1 beta-casein. A few centuries is just a blip in human evolution, and many people still can’t digest A1 milk. This can show up as lactose intolerance, digestive upset, leaky gut & dairy allergies.
Fortunately, A2 raw milk is a non-processed alternative, which tends to be easier to digest than A1 beta-casein.
How is A2 Raw Milk Produced?
There are many things that make A2 raw milk different from processed milk, including how farmers produce it.
At CT Ranch, we rely on a herd of A2 Brown Swiss cows to produce our milk. We choose this breed since Brown Swiss cows are famous for having a high butter-fat content. Plus, they usually carry the A2 beta-casein protein naturally, although we take hair samples to test and confirm each cow’s genetics.
Compared to commercial dairy cows, our cows lead an idyllic life. They enjoy free grazing and lots of sunshine in the green pastures of East Texas.
We milk them once a day after calving, and give them plenty of time to relax and forage. When our girls have calves, we leave the babies with their moms until they’re weaned at about 4-6 months of age. We then milk them twice each day until they are dried up. We dry our cows up at least 2 months prior to their next calving to allow their bodies accurate recovery time and to grow a healthy calf.
Commercial dairy cows, meanwhile, tend to live in cramped, stuffy indoor housing where they’re fed grain and milked multiple, usually 3-4 times, a day. They stay pregnant for most of their lives and rarely experience sunshine and fresh grass. Their life expectancy on a commercial dairy is just 4 short years. And that’s if they do not die prematurely from disease, bloat, injury or illness from their unsanitary living conditions.
In short: if you’re going to drink milk, buying raw milk from a local Texas farmer is a great choice. It means better-quality dairy, healthy local environments, happy cows, and sustainable farm practices you can feel good about supporting!
What are the Benefits of Drinking A2 Raw Milk?
Are you interested in the health benefits of A2 raw milk or butter, cheese, and buttermilk made from A2 milk?
Here are just a few of the perks:
Raw milk supports healthy blood pressure
Elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels cause high blood pressure. Fortunately, the naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids in A2 raw milk reduce blood pressure and support healthy heart function.
Raw milk also supports pulmonary function and lowers the rate of allergic diseases and inflammation.
Raw milk supports mood
Vitamin D is critical for mood stabilization and for avoiding mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
A2 milk contains high levels of Vitamin D to keep you smiling all year long.
Raw milk strengthens the immune system
Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system and is abundant in animal products like raw A2 milk.
Your body’s immune response becomes more efficient and effective when you consume adequate Vitamin A.
Why is Raw Milk so Healthy?
Wondering why raw milk offers so many benefits? The secret lies in its “raw” status.
Raw milk comes from cows raised on fresh air, sunshine, and grass, so it contains high butterfat levels.
Additionally, raw milk is not homogenized or pasteurized. Homogenization and pasteurization are mechanical and heat-based processes, respectively, that compromise the molecular structure of milk. They also destroy the probiotics, beneficial enzymes, and proteins in commercially-produced milk.
When cows live outdoors and eat the food they evolved to consume (hay and grass rather than grain), they produce cleaner, higher-quality milk high in vitamins A, D, and K.
Since nature is a near-perfect system, those exact vitamins – A, D, and K – are what we need to adequately absorb the proteins and minerals in milk. In fact, milk that does not contain butterfat is challenging to digest and nutritionally worthless.
Check out this resource to learn more about raw milk and its benefits.
CT Ranch: Your Source for Healthy, Raw A2 Milk
Whether you’re considering making the switch to raw milk or you’re already sold and looking for a local farmer to build a relationship with, we’re here for you.
CT Ranch is a small, family-run farm. We love our cows and are passionate about producing high-quality, ethical, healthy raw milk and milk products.
Located in Emory, Texas, we provide milk, pastured meat and eggs, and raw honey to families in Tyler, Dallas, and the surrounding areas. For more information, check out a complete list of our products here.
Are you interested in supporting our farm? Check out our CT Ranch Membership page to learn more about our membership program, or visit our shop to sign up for a farm tour or cow cuddling experience or to buy directly from our farm store!