The U.S. dairy industry is facing challenges with small family dairy farms going out of business, growing consumer demand for plant-based dairy alternatives, and increasing awareness of the negative environmental impacts of large dairies. Amidst these big problems, one small company wants to fundamentally change dairy production to a regenerative organic, nutrient-dense, and environmentally- and climate-friendly system.
Adrian Bota, co-founder and CEO of Ohio-based Origin Milk, says he wants to bring “some much needed innovation and disruption to the dairy industry.”
“Let’s give people dairy products that are more nutrient dense. Let’s give them something that is helpful to the planet, and let’s do something good for the soil along the way,” he says.
Produce A2 milk
Better nutrition is one of the pillars that Origin Milk is founded upon. The company promotes its milk as “A2 Heritage.” Their milk contains the health-promoting A2 protein, which is produced by heritage breeds of cows such as Guernsey, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Dutch-belted, and Brown Swiss.
Cow’s milk traditionally contains the A1 and A2 proteins. But according to Bota, breeding of Holsteins—the dominant breed of dairy cows—to produce increasing amounts of milk in industrial dairy production caused a genetic mutation that led the cows to produce only the A1 protein.
“The A1 milk protein is not natural for our digestion,” Bota says.
As a result of drinking conventional A1 milk from Holstein cows, 25% to 30% of Americans complain of difficulties digesting dairy, he says.
By contrast, Origin Milk’s Guernsey and other heritage cows produce the A2 protein, which produces more nutritious milk.
“It has more protein, more calcium, omega-3s, and vitamin A and D than milk from Holstein cows,” Bota says.