Does a cow's diet affect the milk?

When it comes to taste, by the time milk arrives at your local grocer's, you’ll notice how great milk is by its quality of feel. This is why our customers say a2 Milk® is “velvety,” “smooth,” and “it’s milk—but better!” Our milk is truly a taste worth crying over! But how do we get the silky smooth feel people keep coming back for? Below, we go into more detail about how a cow’s diet contributes to the milk you know and love.

Environment

First up, a cow’s living conditions affect the quality of milk. 

Here at a2 Milk®, we consider every cow a Very Important Cow. This is why we only work with farmers individually certified by the Validus Group for animal welfare and with the utmost attention to detail. Certification is only awarded after a detailed assessment and audit of on-farm practices. The assessment outlines strict guidelines concerning how animals are raised including handling, management, health procedures, housing, comfort, and cleanliness. In short, animal care, health, and vitality are our farmer’s livelihood. They even eat before our families do!

This process ensures that no matter where they’re located, our milk comes from cows that are cared for by farmers with the utmost attention to detail. Animal care, comfort, and health are our farmers' livelihood - our cows typically eat before us or our families.  


Health and genetics

Speaking of health, is it any surprise that great milk comes from healthy cows? However, you might be more surprised to know that genetics play a part in milk quality as well. For example, cows used to produce only the A2 protein. But over time, a genetic mutation leads cows to start producing both A1 and A2. Through breeding practices, most milk you will find at your local grocer today is a mixture of A1 and A2 protein.

Published research shows that the A1 protein is linked to stomach discomfort in some people. Our milk comes from cows that produce only the A2 protein and no A1 meaning it may be easier on your digestion. So you can get back to the Homemade yogurt and Old fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream recipes you love. 

We work with our farmers to segregate cows that only produce the A2 protein from the rest of the herd and institute a proprietary testing method to form True a2™ herds. Plus, we never use growth hormones like rBST and test every batch to ensure a2 Milk® is free from antibiotics. This way, you can be confident the quality of a2 Milk® is consistent from carton to carton.


Diet

Does a dairy cow’s diet truly affect the milk? The short answer is yes. Just like the other factors mentioned above, diet also plays a role in the quality and taste of milk. 

There is a lot of information available about how the quality of feed affects the quality and taste of milk. The American Dairy Association even has guidelines to discern good-tasting milk from the bad. Here are the facts:

High-quality feed is scientifically proven to be beneficial to the nutritional quality and taste of cow's milk. However, even among grass-fed cows, the flavor and nutritional quality of milk vary depending on the season, age, and type of plants each cow consumes. For example, young and old plants can result in off-tasting milk and yield different nutritional values in summer vs winter.

Good tasting milk should be relatively neutral with a lightly sweet taste. Grasses such as carrots, garlic, onions, and alfalfa can all make milk unpleasant to drink. Our a2 Milk® cows are fed a balanced, vegetarian grass-fed and grain-fed diet. This helps us ensure that our cows get a full range of nutrients no matter the season.


The bottom line…healthy milk comes from happy, healthy cows! And when you have better milk, your breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes are better too. But don’t take our word for it! Try a2 Milk® for yourself today. Find a carton of a2 Milk® near you.

The a2 Milk® difference

Our a2 Milk® comes from cows that naturally produce only the natural A2 protein. a2 Milk® is 100% real milk that’s easier on digestion and may help some avoid discomfort.

Copyright © 2022 The a2 Milk Company Limited

* No significant difference has been shown between milk from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows

a2 Milk® is not suitable for anyone medically diagnosed with lactose intolerance, galactosaemia or cows’ milk allergy

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HERSHEY’S trademark and trade dress are used under license.