Dairy sensitivity?
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Dairy sensitivity?

When people have trouble digesting milk or other dairy products, the default is to assume that they are lactose intolerant. But what if they’re also sensitive to lactose free milk? 🤔

As far as I can tell, some people are instead sensitive to milk because of the A1 beta casein proteins that are generally found in US dairy. If that’s you, I have great news: there are herds of dairy cows which have been selected for the fact that they exclusively produce A2 beta casein proteins instead. The most common brand is literally called “a2” but if you’re looking for hippie milk and you’re based in the West(?), you’ll want to search for milk or yogurt from California-based Alexandre Family Farms. I get it from Whole Foods, but they also carry it at the local co-op, and they also distribute through a sort of national co-op: Azure Standard.

They have a lot of options:

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(a friend of mine describes their turmeric ginger whole milk option as “hipster eggnog” and he’s not wrong)

Maybe lactose-free milk works for you, but you don’t like the sweetness that comes from the added lactase (which breaks the lactose into sugars?) (in our household we refer to it as “dessert milk” because it tastes like the milk left in the bowl after kid-cereal). If that’s your issue, I have great news for you too!

Another way of removing lactose is to filter it out. This is how Greek yogurt is made from regular yogurt and it results in both lower lactose/lower sugar and also higher protein. So this milk is sometimes advertised as “high protein” milk. But you’re more likely to find it by searching for “ultra-filtered” milk.

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The largest commercial brand of ultra-filtered milk is called “Fairlife” written as “fa!rlife” (owned but not run by coca-cola). In addition to milk, they also make pints of ice cream and are available at most grocery stores (including Target).

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They're not the only option—Lucerne also has an ultra-filtered milk; but again, if you’re looking for a hippie option, I’d send you back to Alexandre Family Farms. They use A2 milk for all their dairy products, but as of this writing, only their 2% is also ultra-filtered, so this is the milk we have at home to cover all our bases.

The extra protein (or something else about the filtering process) makes the milk taste richer, so you might be satisfied with the 2% even if you’re used to whole. But you could also consider compromising and adding some of the A2 whole milk thats not ultra-filtered (and therefore has some lactose) because Alexandre whole milk is 6% fat instead of the usual 3.5%. 🐄

☕️ Bonus tip: ultra-filtered milk froths a zillion times better than regular milk. Spoonable soft peaks in 20 seconds with a battery powered whisk.

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🥣 Bonus challenge: If you don’t have access to A2 yogurt but own either an instant pot or a sous vide immersion water heater, I recommend making it at home — it’s surprisingly easy and pretty foolproof.

Also: this is my favorite lactose-free ice cream — I do make my own ice cream, but it’s hard for me to source A2 heavy cream, so I’ve only used it for creme brûlée so far, which is almost the same procedure as making yogurt with the sous vide.