A2 A2 Guernsey Milk – The Origin of Good Milk

One of the cornerstones of our product line is our exclusive Guernsey milk. Farmer Edward Keim of Wilmot has a small herd of about 30 Guernsey cows. The Guernsey cow is a smaller breed of dairy cow known for its rich, golden colored milk. The milk is high in protein and butterfat, making it also ideal for artisan cheese making.


Edward grazes his cows on pasture all growing season and grows his own non-gmo corn, beans, and hay for winter feeds. In years past, we had offered farm tours and Edward's was a perennial stop. Those who attended likely milked these beautiful ladies and saw first-hand the care that Edward has for his cows. 



One of the important aspects of our Guernsey milk is that Edward's herd is exclusively A2A2. What that means is that one of the milk proteins, beta casein, is of the A2A2 orientation. The easiest way to think about this is that the protein can have two configurations, let's say a right hand (A1) and a left hand (A2). A2 is the original orientation found in older genetics; A1 is a variation found in more modern dairy breeds. The protein's makeup can be that of A1A1, A1A2, or A2A2. The A2A2 is known to be easier to digest for humans. 


Why is this important? Many consumers think they are lactose intolerant. Lactose is milk sugar. But what could be happening is that the consumer is actually beta casein intolerant, causing inflammation in the body. We have many customers who previously couldn't drink milk until they had the A2A2 milk. 


Milk often goes through two processes - homogenization & pasteurization.

Homogenization simply means the milk is processed so that the milk solids - mostly the fat - are evenly suspended in the milk by making them smaller than they naturally are. This makes for a smoother product.

However, it also means that the fat - now a smaller globule - can more easily pass into the bloodstream without digestion. These un-naturally sized fat globules are now released into the body in such a way that the same amount of fat now acts as if it is much more.

Think about surface area here. If you sit a bowling ball and a tennis ball on a table, which touches the table more? They are both the same. But, to achieve the same amount of displacement (volume), it takes many tennis balls to equal the volume of a bowling ball. Those many tennis balls now have more surface area in contact with the body.

When searching the web, you'll find all kinds of claims, often backed up with a statement that scientific data isn't conclusive to the link between homogenized dairy and cancer or heart disease. I can tell you from farming, there are so many variables to control in a living creature's environment that pinpointing one culprit is near impossible.

What I can tell you with certainty though is, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Cream has risen to the top of milk for millennia. I'm A-OK with that.


The words "Ultra Pasteurized" can be really misleading. To me, "ultra" sounds better, but it's not.

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to kill harmful bacteria. There are three common ways to do this:

1) Vat Pasteurization - warm the milk to 161 degrees gently, think of a crock pot

2) HTST - high temp, short time. Bring the milk up rapidly to 161 degrees or more for at least 15 seconds to pasteurize.

3) UHT - ultra high temp or ultra pasteurized, bringing the milk up to between 275 and 300 degrees for 1 second to kill everything in the milk

Vat Pasteurized and HTST kills the harmful bacteria but still preserves many of the good enzymes that aid in the digestion of milk. One particularly important enzyme is xanthine oxidase, which aids in building the good flora of the gut, is preserved in vat pasteurization but is 100% killed in UHT (ultra) pasteurization.

In short, we feel that vat pasteurization is the healthiest option we have for pasteurizing milk.


I don't want to sound like I'm hitting the buzz words now, but milk from grass grazed mammals is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and 500% higher in CLAs than those not grazed on grass. As a result, we suggest drinking the whole milk for both flavor and health. Remember, not all fat is created equally, and in this case, the fat of grass grazed guernsey milk is superior.



We get a lot of questions about buying raw milk. We legally cannot sell you raw milk. This Guernsey milk is, however, the next best option.

Further, raw milk in Ohio requires that you jump through hoops to buy it - either as a member of a "herd-share" or buying it from an illicit vendor who is bootlegging it.

Summary is, because Ohio has made it difficult to buy raw milk, the markets that do sell it may be questionable. I'm not saying there aren't good vendors; what I'm saying is that the market for the illicit sale of raw milk is so small that it is difficult for the participants to have the best infrastructure and sanitation. A traditional dairy farm is routinely inspected - there are records that must be kept for sanitation and insurance requirements to protect the consumer. When you are buying raw milk be aware of the risks.

If it were my way, Ohio would find a way to permit raw milk and help set standards for the safe handling of raw milk. But I'm just a small guy in this big regulatory game.


The Wholesome Valley Farm A2A2 Guernsey milk is also available at family company Ohio City Provisions.

Guernsey itself doesn't mean A2, and A2 doesn't mean Guernsey. The "boutique" milk market is exploding at the grocery store, and you'll find many products labeled as A2A2.

Most (not all, and I can't speak for everyone) products in the store that are A2A2 are those from confinement dairy operations where the cows live in a barn and eat a controlled ration that is mixed daily of grains and forage. It is easier for the farmer to grow big fields of hay, beans, and corn than to build miles of fence and graze the cows.

There is one notable brand at the grocery store - Origin. It is actually the same milk that we sell. Fresh Fork isn't big enough to sell enough milk to support a creamery and the dairy farmers, and approximately 5 years ago a fellow Cleveland entrepreneur started labeling and distributing the same milk under the brand Origin. It's available at most major grocery stores; however, you'll find that our label is 30% cheaper ($1.74 per half gal less) due to our direct connection back to the farmer and our lean distribution model.

Oh, and I guess I missed the most important part. Besides all the dairy nerd stuff above, this milk just tastes great!


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