A2A2 milk is not your average cow’s milk. Derived from Jersey and Guernsey cattle that naturally produce milk without A1 beta-casein, A2A2 milk elicits a similar bodily response in adults as breast milk does in infants.
“Your body doesn’t recognize it as anything foreign, so it doesn’t cause an inflammatory response,” says Kelli Stephens, owner of Edgewood Creamery in Purdy, Missouri. “A lot of people who are lactose-intolerant are actually intolerant of A1 beta-casein.”
Stephens purchased Edgewood Creamery more than three years ago, and recently, when she invested in cows that produce this type of milk, the creamery became the first and only in the region to offer grass-fed A2A2 milk. You can pick up a half gallon at Mama Jean’s Natural Market or Price Cutter and Hy-Vee locations across southwest Missouri.
Here, Stephens dives into the specifics of how Edgewood Creamery’s A2A2 milk is helping customers reclaim frothy lattes, milkshakes and other dairy-laden favorites.
Why is it important for you to offer A2A2 milk to customers? For starters, almost everyone can drink it. There’s a huge demographic of people that can’t enjoy [A1A2] dairy. We knew if we could get A2A2 milk in their hands and get it to where they could drink milk again, make ice cream with it and cook with it [without it] hurting their stomachs, it was worth it for us to add A2A2 milk to our line. There’s not a whole lot more money in it for us, but it is a way to enhance our existing product line and give our customers one more option for drinking milk from a healthy, sustainable family farm. In our area, we are the only ones that have it in terms of farm-to-table, and it’s doing phenomenally. Our orders are getting bigger and bigger every week. People just love it.
Does A2A2 milk taste different than A1A2 milk? No, you won’t taste any difference in the flavor of the milk. But all of our milk is very creamy and sweet – it has a slightly different flavor than most because our cows are grass-fed and we’re not pumping them with a ton of grain. You can’t tell any difference between our [A1A2 and A2A2 milk] – it even looks the same. The only way you know it’s different is if there’s no pain involved after you drink it. [If you’re looking for it in stores] it has a red lid, and it says A2A2 on the front of it.
How do you ensure the purity of the A2A2 milk from cow to bottle? We test our cows [to make sure they] have only the A2A2 proteins in them. At the barn, the milk goes into a separate bulk tank, and we make sure all the equipment is washed and cleaned between different types of milk. So none of the A1 is getting into the A2. We’re very, very careful about that, so there’s no cross-contamination of any milk. That kind of makes it sound like our other milk is bad – it’s not. We just don’t want to have any A1 protein getting into our A2A2 milk.
Is there anything else that sets your A2A2 milk-producing cows apart from other cows? Today, cows are being bred for production, which is not bad. But back in the day, nobody had trouble with milk because they were all A2A2 cows. We’re really [preserving traditional] milk and serving it how it used to be. You’ve heard of heirloom [seeds]? These are heirloom cows.
Edgewood Creamery, 5888 Farm Road 1090, Purdy, Missouri, 417.442.3010, edgewoodcreamery.com