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You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk
Mother Jones ^ | Wed Mar. 12, 2014 3:00 AM PDT | Josh Harkinson

Posted on 03/31/2014 4:47:38 PM PDT by null and void

Okea/Thinkstock

When my in-laws moved from India to the United States some 35 years ago, they couldn't believe the low cost and abundance of our milk—until they developed digestive problems. They'll now tell you the same thing I've heard a lot of immigrants say: American milk will make you sick.

It turns out that they could be onto something. An emerging body of research suggests that many of the 1 in 4 Americans who exhibit symptoms of lactose intolerance could instead be unable to digest A1, a protein most often found in milk from the high-producing Holstein cows favored by American and some European industrial dairies. The A1 protein is much less prevalent in milk from Jersey, Guernsey, and most Asian and African cow breeds, where, instead, the A2 protein predominates.

"We've got a huge amount of observational evidence that a lot of people can digest the A2 but not the A1," says Keith Woodford, a professor of farm management and agribusiness at New Zealand's Lincoln University who wrote the 2007 book Devil in the Milk: Illness, Health, and the Politics of A1 and A2 Milk. "More than 100 studies suggest links between the A1 protein and a whole range of health conditions"—everything from heart disease to diabetes to autism, Woodford says, though the evidence is far from conclusive.

Holsteins, the most common dairy-cow breed in the United States, typically produce A1 milk.  Sarahluv/Flickr

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.

A2 Corp. recently announced plans to offer its milk in the United States in coming months.

But critics write off the success of A2 Corp. as a victory of marketing over science. Indeed, a 2009 review by the European Food Safety Authority found no link between the consumption of A1 milk and health and digestive problems. So far, much of the research on the matter is funded by A2 Corp., which holds a patent for the only genetic test that can separate A1 from A2 cows. And in 2004, the same year that A2 Corp. went public on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Australia's Queensland Health Department fined its marketers $15,000 for making false and misleading claims about the health benefits of its milk.

The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change: A2 Corp. recently announced plans to offer its milk in the United States in coming months. In a letter to investors, the company claims that "consumer research [in Los Angeles] confirms the attractiveness of the A2 proposition."

The difference between A1 and A2 proteins is subtle: They are different forms of beta-casein, a part of the curds (i.e., milk solids ) that make up 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  shan213/Flickr

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. 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.

Critics argued that the relationships could be explained away by other factors, such as diet, lifestyle, and latitude-dependent exposure to vitamin D in sunlight—and in any case started to fall apart when more countries were included.

African cows also tend to produce A2 milk. United Nations Photo/Flickr

Yet 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.

Starting in 2003, A2 Corp. sold milk in the United States through a licensing agreement, but pulled out in 2007 after it failed to catch on. Susan Massasso, A2 Corp.'s chief marketing officer, blamed mistakes by the company's US partner, but declined to elaborate. But now the market dynamics may be changing in A2 Corp.'s favor as compelling new research on the A1/A2 debate grabs headlines in the Australian and UK press.

When digested, A1 beta-casein (but not the A2 variety) releases beta-casomorphin7 (BCM7), an opioid with a structure similar to that of morphine.  Studies increasingly point to BCM7 as a troublemaker. Numerous recent tests, for example, have shown that blood from people with autism and schizophrenia contains higher-than-average amounts of BCM7. In a recent study, Richard Deth, a professor of pharmacology at Northeastern University in Boston, and his postdoctoral fellow, Malav Trivedi, showed in cell cultures that the presence of similarly high amounts of BCM7 in gut cells causes a chain reaction that creates a shortage of antioxidants in neural cells, a condition that other research has tied to autism. The study, underwritten in part by A2 Corp., is now undergoing peer review in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

 
Nearly 80 percent of Guernsey cows tested in the US are pure A2, the highest percentage of any traditional breed, according to the American Guernsey Association. podchef/Flickr

The results suggest that drinking A2 milk instead of A1 milk could reduce the symptoms of autism, Trivedi says, but, he adds: "There's a lot more research that needs to be done to support these claims."

Researchers without ties to A2 Corp. are also lending increasing support to the A1 hypothesis. One peer-reviewed study conducted at the National Dairy Research Institute in India, published in October in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that mice fed A1 beta-casein overproduced enzymes and immune regulators that other studies have linked to heart disease and autoimmune conditions such as eczema and asthma.

The leading explanation for why some people but not others may react poorly to A1 milk implicates leaky gut syndrome—a concept that got its start in alternative medicine circles but has been gaining wider traction in the medical establishment. The idea is that that loose connections in the gut, like tears in a coffee filter, allow rogue proteins such as BCM7 to enter the body and run amok. The body brings in immune cells to fight them off, creating inflammation that manifests as swelling and pain—a telltale symptom of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, and autism.

The A2-producing Normande is a popular breed in France. dominiqueb/Flickr

Though many adults may suffer from leaky guts, the condition is normal in babies less than a year old, who naturally have semi-permeable intestines. This may pose a problem when they're fed typical cow-milk formula. A 2009 study documented that formula-fed infants developed muscle tone and psychomotor skills more slowly than infants that were fed (A2-only) breast milk. Researchers in Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic have suggested links between BCM7 in cow milk formula and childhood health issues. A 2011 study implicates BCM7 in sudden infant death syndrome: the blood serum of some infants that experienced a "near-miss SIDS" incident contained more BCM7 than of healthy infants the same age. Capitalizing on those findings, A2 Corp. also sells an A2-only infant formula, a2PLATINUM, in Australia, New Zealand, and China.

The mainstream dairy industry in the United States may be more interested in the A1/A2 debate than it lets on. For example, US companies that sell bull semen for breeding purposes maintain information on the exact A1/A2 genetics of all of their offerings. And breeders have already developed A2 Holsteins to replace the A1 varieties typically used in confined agricultural feeding operations. "There is absolutely no problem in moving across to A2 and still having these high-production cows," says Woodford, the Devil in the Milk author, who has in more recent years worked as a consultant for A2 Corp.

But the transition to A2 milk would take a bit of money and a lot of time—probably about a decade, Woodford believes. "The mainstream industry has always seen it as a threat," he says, "whereas another way of looking at it is, hey, this can actually bring more people to drinking milk."

Indian cows produce A2 milk. Poi Photography/Flickr

For now, here in the United States, the best way to get milk with a higher-than-average A2 content is to buy it from a dairy that uses A2-dominant cow breeds such as the Jersey, the Guernsey, or the Normande. In Northern California, for example, Sonoma County's Saint Benoit Creamery specifies on its milk labels that it uses "pastured Jersey cows."

The heirloom A2 cow breeds tend to be hardy animals adapted to living on the open range and not producing a ton of milk, but what they do produce is comparatively thicker, creamier, and, many people say, a lot tastier than what you'll typically find at the supermarket.

"People taste our milk and they say: 'Oh my gosh, I haven't tasted milk like this since I left home,'" and came to America, says Warren Taylor, the owner of Ohio's Snowville Creamery, which has been phasing out A1 cows from its herds. For the time being, the switch to A2 milk "is going to be for the small producers—people like us," he adds. "It's just a part of our responsibility."


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Food for thought...
1 posted on 03/31/2014 4:47:38 PM PDT by null and void
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To: Black Agnes

ping


2 posted on 03/31/2014 4:48:00 PM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
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To: null and void
You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk

Whatever. I will decide when I am done with the breastfeeding.

3 posted on 03/31/2014 4:49:55 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: null and void

I love the lactose-free chocolate milk now on the market.


4 posted on 03/31/2014 4:51:58 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture)
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To: null and void

I don’t drink cows milk anymore. Been drinking Silk coconut milk. Now cows milk smells/tastes rotten when I’m around it.


5 posted on 03/31/2014 4:54:36 PM PDT by BipolarBob
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To: null and void

You should have included this in your nut job conspiracy theory ping list

This is, was, and always will be NONSENSE. There is no test to tell whether milk has A1 or A2 proteins as the primary protein. Cow’s milk has both types. This is another one of those ‘you have to eat organic’ type of hoaxes.

And since when do you consider Mother Jones to be a reliable source for nutrition advice?


6 posted on 03/31/2014 4:54:54 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: null and void
I don't drink much regular milk, since I discovered just how good Half & Half is.

I loves me some butter fat!

7 posted on 03/31/2014 4:56:16 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (God is not the author of confusion. 1 Cor 13: 33)
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To: null and void; BipolarBob

We drink the chocolate coconut milk and chocolate almond milk at my house these days. Love them.

And the ‘So Delicious’ coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream never lasts long either.


8 posted on 03/31/2014 4:56:42 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: null and void

I get Braum’s milk, the best around ... :-) ...
http://www.braums.com/about-us/


9 posted on 03/31/2014 4:57:59 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: null and void

Maybe the problem is with the pasteurization.


10 posted on 03/31/2014 4:58:14 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: null and void

I’m lactose intolerent....

But....

There was a certain “type” of picture I was hoping to find here.....

As noted in a 1958 Alaskan menu:

Milk - Cold - 10 cents
Milk - Served at body temperature, in the cutest little containers - $2.50


11 posted on 03/31/2014 4:58:38 PM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: null and void
Hey, you're drinking the wrong milk dud(e).


12 posted on 03/31/2014 4:59:54 PM PDT by RoosterRedux (My tagline was hacked by the NSA.)
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To: null and void

Bananas ain’t what they used to be, either.


13 posted on 03/31/2014 4:59:56 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: null and void

Commando Marketing Plan 101

1.scare the crap out of ‘em so they will buy your product.

2.”the other guy’s cows will kill ya” is the message for market penetration.


14 posted on 03/31/2014 5:01:53 PM PDT by kingattax (America needs more real Americans.)
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To: P.O.E.

Gros Michel is gone, Cavendish is on the way out too.


15 posted on 03/31/2014 5:04:03 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: null and void

Milk from Jersey cows is delicious. Costs almost twice as much though since they don’t produce as much.


16 posted on 03/31/2014 5:04:17 PM PDT by Ray76 (Profit from the mistakes of others, you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself.)
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To: null and void
Up yours Mother Jones and other repressive Nanny State'ers...


Of course ACA might prove this graph wrong past the year 2020, but the downgrade would be caused by tyrannical politics, whom Mother Jones supports, so this milk crap article is all in vain.
17 posted on 03/31/2014 5:04:28 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: null and void
The A1 milk hypothesis was devised in 1993 by Bob Elliott

Yet a 1997 study by Elliott...

(singing Gordon Lightfoot) "Agenda bound, Agenda bound, tomorrow's study will be Agenda bound"

18 posted on 03/31/2014 5:06:16 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: null and void

I’m holding out for A3 milk!


19 posted on 03/31/2014 5:06:17 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: House Atreides
I’m holding out for A3 milk!

Whatever strokes your cortex.

20 posted on 03/31/2014 5:07:28 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: null and void

Don’t screw with my milk!!!!

I’ve been drinking 4-5 gallons of whole milk a week for the last 70 plus years and I’m just fine!


21 posted on 03/31/2014 5:07:40 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: null and void; GOPsterinMA; fieldmarshaldj

I heard that most Asians are lactose intolerant.


22 posted on 03/31/2014 5:07:52 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: null and void

Been hearing this nonsense for decades.

And I still drink my Vitamin D whole milk; no problems at all.

And it’s delicious.


23 posted on 03/31/2014 5:08:02 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: Impy

My former was. She drank Soy Milk.


24 posted on 03/31/2014 5:09:29 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Impy; null and void; fieldmarshaldj

I never heard that. Interesting.


25 posted on 03/31/2014 5:09:57 PM PDT by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: null and void

It’s all the wrong milk to me. I developed a food allergy to milk and dozens of other things after a flu shot at age 50.
Milk never bothered me , but the flu shot nearly killed me which triggered GB and an auto immune runaway condition that destroys my peripheral nerves.


26 posted on 03/31/2014 5:10:21 PM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: null and void
When my in-laws moved from India to the United States

Lactose intolerance is common in Asians. Unlikely they were drinking milk in India.

27 posted on 03/31/2014 5:11:16 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: colorado tanker

Asian Indians are Caucasians. But you knew that didn’t you?


28 posted on 03/31/2014 5:12:27 PM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
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To: Impy

I changed to Hood Calorie Countdown when I discovered how many carbs and sugar were in skim milk. If I can’t find that, I buy cream and dilute it with water.


29 posted on 03/31/2014 5:13:04 PM PDT by SouthCarolinaKit
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To: null and void

this is why I filter my milk through cookies


30 posted on 03/31/2014 5:15:57 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: null and void

I drink milk from Promised Land Dairy which is 100% from Jersey cows.


31 posted on 03/31/2014 5:16:34 PM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: null and void

Since the kids own both Guernseys and Holsteins for 4-H, maybe sometime we can do a taste test and tolerance test.

Whoa!

Science project material!


32 posted on 03/31/2014 5:17:20 PM PDT by Cloverfarm
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To: SouthCarolinaKit

I use whole milk, lasts longer. Skim and 1% disgust me.


33 posted on 03/31/2014 5:17:49 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: G Larry
I am too, and I drink this stuff:

Very good in terms of low sugar as it is lactose free.

34 posted on 03/31/2014 5:19:28 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Graybeard58

I hope you’re checking your cholesterol levels ... :-) ...


35 posted on 03/31/2014 5:20:14 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: bigheadfred

[ I’m holding out for A3 milk!

Whatever strokes your cortex. ]

A3??? You are insane!!!

The smart people are holding out for A5 or better!


36 posted on 03/31/2014 5:20:56 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: F15Eagle

Beg pardon. I’m having a major tussle with some food allergies lately; and getting worse all the time. Allergic to gluten (wheat), lactose, and chocolate. Tummy hurts and blowing up like a balloon. - Chocolate got to where it gave me horrible honkers of a recurring headache, until I figured out what was doing it several years ago & stayed off chocolate for about 6 yrs. until I got the THEOBROMINE out of my system. Now I can have a bit of chocolate, but not a lot else the headaches start back up. When I drink milk, tummy bloats up like a balloon, same with wheat. I have some heritage wheat that’s low in gluten that I plan to try later. It’s difficult and husband doesn’t help by making fun of my bloated belly. Anyway, these things are real; and getting worse for me all the time.


37 posted on 03/31/2014 5:21:39 PM PDT by Twinkie (John 3:16)
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To: rolling_stone
this is why I filter my milk through cookies

They make Straws for that!

38 posted on 03/31/2014 5:23:02 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Star Traveler

Everyy time I have it checked, the doc says it’s perfect and to keep doing whatever it is I’m doing. My 93 year old mother’s doc tells her the same thing.

I do believe it’s genetic.


39 posted on 03/31/2014 5:23:30 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (God is not the author of confusion. 1 Cor 13: 33)
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To: null and void

I don’t consider Mother Jones news a reliable source of any information.


40 posted on 03/31/2014 5:25:16 PM PDT by Traveler59 ( Truth is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: Traveler59

Isn’t Mother Jones a far left wing publication?


41 posted on 03/31/2014 5:27:10 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: null and void
some_text I have a friend that went to Saudi Arabia. He said he drank some camel's milk and was sick for days. I believe a lot of it has to do with us not being used to the bacteria in their milk. I guess the same applies when someone travels over here.
42 posted on 03/31/2014 5:28:06 PM PDT by boycott
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To: null and void


43 posted on 03/31/2014 5:30:36 PM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: GraceG

I’m telling mom.


44 posted on 03/31/2014 5:34:07 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: BipolarBob

Me too. I’m down with the coconut milk.


45 posted on 03/31/2014 5:37:08 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: null and void; colorado tanker
When the nomadic Aryans invaded India 4000 or so years ago, there was considerable conflict between them and the indigenous people in India. The fair skinned Aryans invented the caste system to avoid mixing with the darker people. Point is, not all Indians are derived from Caucasian extraction. That is why Indians come in all shades of skin color and facial characteristics. Of course after living in a landmass with hot sunny climate for thousands of years, very few Indians retain the skin color of the original Aryans. This actress retains lot of the Aryan features and skin color:
46 posted on 03/31/2014 5:37:37 PM PDT by entropy12
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To: null and void

There is no milk like Guernsey milk. Like white latex paint, 50% fat. Grew up on our own Guernsey cow milk. Shake up the cream for fresh butter on hot pancakes. Oy.


47 posted on 03/31/2014 5:39:08 PM PDT by lurk
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To: null and void

Sonoma County’s Saint Benoit Creamery

I can buy their milk in no less than three very nearby stores

Thank you,


48 posted on 03/31/2014 5:39:28 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: null and void

My little one was allergic to all milk and formula—I had goat milk brought in from the country after my dad said that was what his mother did for him. Worked fine.


49 posted on 03/31/2014 5:39:48 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: BipolarBob
Been drinking Silk coconut milk.

i like almond milk... plain... i used to drink Lactaid and soy milk, plain... but i like almond best... i also eat plain Greek yogurt 5-6 days a week mid morning... and i drink one glass of coconut each day... :)

50 posted on 03/31/2014 5:40:41 PM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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