Tonight’s video is “Sopranos Azteca” by A Tribe Called Red. You can see A Tribe Called Red at SXSW in Austin, Texas tonight at midnight at the Swan Dive on 615 Red River Street, and again on Saturday night (Sunday morning) at 1:00am.
Mother Jones reports on a growing field of research which suggests (controversially) that some lactose intolerant people just need a different kind of milk:
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.
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.
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.’
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