Cows which origin is the Channel Islands, including the Guernsey and Jersey breeds, are universally accepted as producing the best milk in the world. Nowadays, countries all over the world have large herds of both breeds.
The question, however, that is usually asked is which is better between Guernsey milk and Jersey milk? Anyway, many have argued in the past and some others are still arguing it out that Guernsey is better milk producers.
Guernsey cattle are enjoying a mini-revival due to the popularity of their milk. Golden-colored, it typically lacks a type of protein prevalent in regular milk that some researchers have
Guernsey Cow Milk Facts
#1. Beta Casein A2
When tested in the UK, Guernsey milk had more than 95% A2, compared with 40% A2 in Jersey milk and 15% in ‘ordinary milk’.
#2. Omega 3
Guernsey milk contains 3 times as much omega 3 as other kinds of milk.
#3. Beta Carotene
It is not digested by Guernsey cows, so it passes into the milk and produces a wonderful golden color. Beta carotene is found in the green vegetable matter (that is, grass) and is thought to give protection against certain cancers. It is known that the consumption of vegetables is good for you. As a result, drinking Guernsey milk should provide the same health advantages.
The uniqueness of Guernsey milk is that it is golden in color. The golden Guernsey milk is because of the abundance of beta carotene. There is beta carotene in their feed and Guernsey doesn’t break down beta carotene like other dairy breeds, so it goes straight into their milk for the consumer.
Beta carotene is an antioxidant and has many health benefits. Meanwhile, the main reason consumers should consider switching to Guernsey the only dairy is because of the A2 beta-casein that Guernsey’s have.
Also, during the middle age, Guernseys first became popular on English dairy farms in the late 18th century, according to the World Guernsey Cattle Federation, which counts about 40,000 cows among the breed’s global ranks. That pales in comparison to the 1 million-plus Holsteins in Australia alone.
Friesian cows produce mostly A1 milk, Jerseys and Guernseys produce mainly A2 milk. In addition, the renewed interest in Guernsey cows stems from the breed’s renowned docile nature as well as the purported merits of its milk.
About 90 percent of Australian Guernseys carry a gene, which causes them to produce milk containing only the A2 type of beta-casein protein, Cleggett, a former president of the Australian Guernsey society, said. Guernseys possess the highest percentage of A2 among traditional dairy cattle breeds, the American Guernsey Association says on its website.
In the book Devil in the Milk, Professor Keith Woodford explains the differences between ‘normal’ milk and A2 milk. He compares studies of heart disease in countries that consume A1 and countries which consume A2 and finds a strong correlation between consumption of A1 milk and heart disease.
He also finds a correlation between heart disease and type 1 diabetes. He suggests that A1 milk may be implicated in a range of other physical and mental problems. If the different types are taken into account, this could explain why both the French and the Masai, whilst having high dairy diets, have comparatively low levels of heart disease.
In each case, those persons would appear to consume only A2 milk. On the other hand, the Finns have high dairy diets but consume predominantly A1, and have high levels of heart disease.
There have also been claims that the A2 milk could be beneficial to autistic children, but firm proof is so far lacking. The A1 milk hypothesis was devised in 1993 by Bob Elliott, a professor of child health research at the University of Auckland.
Elliott believed that consumption of A1 milk could account for the unusually high incidence of type-1 diabetes among Samoan children growing up in New Zealand. Then, he and a colleague, Corran McLachlan, later compared the per capita consumption of A1 milk to the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in 20 countries and came up with strong correlations.
In contrast, Holsteins, which originated from the Netherlands and northern Germany, typically produce a combination of A2 and A1 milk proteins, which scientists such as Keith Woodford, an agri-food professor at New Zealand’s Lincoln University, say may contribute to conditions from heart disease and diabetes to digestive discomfort. Holsteins, which is the most common dairy-cow breed in the United States, typically produce A1 milk.
For more than a decade, an Auckland-based company called A2 Corporation has been selling a brand of A2 milk in New Zealand and Australia; it now accounts for 8 percent of Australia’s dairy market. In 2012, A2 Corp. introduced its milk in the United Kingdom through the Tesco chain, where a two-liter bottle sells for about 18 percent more than conventional milk.
Difference Between A1 and A2 Milk
The difference between A1 and A2 proteins is subtle – They are different forms of beta-casein, a part of the curds (that is, milk solids ) that makeup about 30 percent of the protein content in milk.
The A2 variety of beta-casein mutated into the A1 version several thousand years ago in some European dairy herds. Two genes code for beta-casein, so modern cows can either be purely A2, A1/A2 hybrids, or purely A1. Milk from goats and humans contains only the A2 beta-casein, yet not everyone likes the flavor of goat milk, which also contains comparatively less vitamin B-12—a nutrient essential for creating red blood cells.
About 65 percent of Jersey cows exclusively produce A2 milk.
A 1997 study by Elliott published by the International Dairy Federation showed A1 beta-casein caused mice to develop diabetes, lending support to the hypothesis, and McLachlan remained convinced. In 2000, he partnered with entrepreneur Howard Paterson, then regarded as the wealthiest man on New Zealand’s South Island, to found the A2 Corporation.
In summary, Guernsey cows are simply amazing, and the milk they provide us is equally amazing. Also, their milk is naturally higher in many nutrients and it has a different casein protein (A2) which means more people can enjoy dairy. In fact, the majority of Guernsey cows produce milk containing the A2 beta-casein protein (the lesser-known A protein).
There is growing anecdotal evidence that individuals with illnesses that generally cannot tolerate milk or are exasperated by milk, can both tolerate and benefit from drinking Guernsey milk with the A2 protein.