As our wait list continues to rapidly expand, I have had several inquiries asking for my opinion on what milk a person should get while waiting for one of our cow shares to be available for sale. The short answer is that it all depends on your priorities.
If you have health concerns related to the consumption of A1 milk protein, then I recommend that you get goat or sheep milk (neither contain the mutated A1 protein) unless you can find milk from cows that were genetically tested to be A2/A2. In the United States, all cow milk from the grocery store contains mostly the mutated A1 protein and little of the original A2 protein. Similarly, I would assume milk from a cow share program to contain the mutated A1 protein unless the cows are all genetically tested as A2/A2. Both Jerseys and Holsteins, on average, produce milk with over 50% mutated A1 protein rather than original A2 protein. I would expect there to be little if any difference in A1 protein content between grocery store milk and milk from a Jersey or Holstein cow share (unless the cows are tested as A2/A2).
If your primary concern is 100% grass-fed milk, then, unless you can find a 100% grass-fed cow share, I recommend that you buy one of the grocery-store grass-fed brands. For example, the Common Market in Frederick, MD carries a grass-fed, pasteurized milk; I don't know if it is 100% grass-fed, but at least some grass is better than no grass.
Personally, my biggest concern is to get milk as close to 100% grass-fed as possible because I think that the data are strong showing the health benefits of 100% grass-fed dairy products. In my opinion, the data suggest that it is best to avoid the mutated A1 protein but the data are not conclusive. There are many claims regarding the benefits of raw milk but the evidence is often anecdotal and I have yet to see strong, compelling evidence that it is superior to pasteurized milk.
I was not able to find milk that was both 100% grass-fed and from A2/A2 cows, which is the milk I wanted for my family. So I decided to produce it myself and it does remain very difficult to find.