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Namita Devidayal | TNN | New Delhi | Apr 23, 2017:: The best reason to save the desi cow has nothing to do with bovine politics. It is milk. Desi doodh, or A2 milk from indigenous cows, is becoming the latest health fad, with small dairies and big brands like Amul entering the market.
Much of the cow milk available in the market is A1, from crossbred or foreign cows. Though research is not conclusive, some studies have shown that A1 can trigger inflammation in the body, potentially leading to ailments like diabetes and heart disease.
A2, on the other hand, has found favour with the health-conscious and the lactose-intolerant who say it is easy to digest. In fact, it’s already got takers abroad.
A Sydney-based company, A2 Milk Company, has found an international following in New Zealand and China and is expanding to the United States. Back home Amul has responded to the new interest in A2.
It recently launched a premium desi cow milk product in Ahmedabad and plans to add the Surat market next.
However, Amul managing director R S Sodhi admits that the market is niche. “When you want to sell it at a premium price, the market is very small. But gradually, awareness is growing.”
A small but growing band of dairy farmers is also catering to this new market. V Shivakumar, a former Wall Street programmer, realized the difficulties of sourcing A2 milk because of a lactose-intolerant newborn. He went on to form the Coimbatore-based Kongu Goshala to preserve Tamil Nadu’s Kangeyam and Tiruchengodu breeds. He also runs a mobile app Kongu Maddu, where people can place orders for A2 milk.
Gurgaon-based Back2basics breeds Gir cows for A2 milk which it supplies to households in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. When retired market researcher Titoo Ahluwalia first started keeping cows at his farm in Nandgaon, a coastal village near Mumbai, he was more interested in generating dung for his organic vegetables and ensuring his children grew up around “these gentle, giving animals”.
When he read up on desi cows, he realised the benefits of the milk. “Regrettably, many desi varieties of cow are already close to extinction,” says Ahluwalia.
While most dairy owners deny any problems related to consumption of A1 milk, they do admit that local cows are much more in tune with India’s climate conditions, and therefore remain healthier.
Desi cows are bred largely by religious communities and ashrams, where the animal is revered and productivity is not the prime motivation.
According to one farmer, there are just about 15,000-18,000 Gir cows left in the country. Brazil, which imported them from India in the late sixties, has a far higher population. The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, has been trying to motivate farmers to shift to A2 breeds, with some success, says Monica Sodhi, a scientist at the institute.
Read also: The Desi Cow – Almost Extinct. (Source: The Teheka. 02.02.2013).
Holy cow! Desi cattle show dip in numbers, foreign variety up. (Source- Indian Express. 04.09.2014).
India’s livestock population decreases by 3.33 percent: Census. (Source- Zee News. 06.09.2014).
Need to change economics of the Cow: Dr. Bharat Jhunjhunwala. (Source- Bharat Niti. 26.06.2015).
Indian Cow & the Economy. (Source- Bharat Arise. 05.10.2015).
Milk gets a swadeshi nudge, govt wants indigenous cattle to get preference. (Source- Business Standard. 26.12.2016).
Courtesy : TOI & all links used above.
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Thanks, but I have just gone off milk, because as an adult milk can have some unwanted effects. I only take some drops in tea and coffee.————Hirak..
Tea and Coffee are biggest threat to Health.
An excerpt from “A GUIDE TO HEALTH ”
Translated from the Hindi
A. RAMA IYER, M.A.
I must say that tea, coffee and cocoa are equally injurious to health, although I know that very few are likely to agree with me. There is a kind of poison in all of them; and, in the case of tea and coffee, if milk and sugar were not added, there would be absolutely no nutritious element in them. By means of repeated and varied experiments it has been established that there is nothing at all in these articles which is capable of improving the blood. Until a few years ago, we used to drink tea and coffee only on special occasions, but to-day they have become universally indispensable. Things have come to such a pass that even sickly persons often use them as substitutes for nourishing food!
Fortunately for us, the costliness of cocoa has prevented its spread to the same extent as tea and coffee, although, in the homes of the rich, it is quite liberally used.
That all these three articles are poisonous can be seen from the fact that those who once take to them can never afterwards get on without them. In the old days, I myself used to feel a distinct sense of weariness or langour if I did not get my tea punctually at the usual hour. Once some 400 women and children had gathered together at a certain celebration. The executive committee had resolved against providing tea to the visitors. The women, however, that had assembled there, were in the habit of taking tea at 4 o’clock every evening. The authorities were informed that, if these women were not given their usual tea, they would be too ill to move about, and, needless to say, they had to cancel their original resolution! But some slight delay in the preparation of the tea led to a regular uproar, and the commotion subsided only after the women had had their cup of tea! I can vouch for the authenticity of this incident. In another instance, a certain woman had lost all her digestive powers under the influence of tea, and had become a prey to chronic headaches; but from the moment that she gave up tea her health began steadily to improve. A doctor of the Battersea Municipality in England has declared, after careful investigation, that the brain-tissues of thousands of women in his district have been diseased from excessive use of tea. I have myself come across many instances of health being ruined by tea.
Coffee does some good against Kapha (phlegm) and Vatha (‘wind’), but at the same time it weakens the body by destroying the vital fluid, and by making the blood as thin as water. To those people who advocate coffee on the ground that it is beneficial against “phlegm” and “wind”, we would recommend the juice of ginger as even better for the purpose. And, on the other hand, let us remember that the evil effects of coffee are too serious to be counter-balanced by its good. When the blood and the vital fluid are poisoned by a stuff, can there be any hesitation in giving it up altogether?
Cocoa is fully as harmful as coffee, and it contains a poison which deadens the perceptions of the skin.
Those people who recognise the validity of moral considerations in these matters should remember that tea, coffee and cocoa are prepared mostly by labourers under indenture, which is only a fine name for slavery. If we saw with our own eyes the oppressive treatment that is meted out to the labourers in cocoa plantations, we should never again make use of the stuff. Indeed, if we enquire minutely into the methods of preparation of all our articles of food, we shall have to give up 90% of them!
A harmless and healthy substitute for coffee (tea or cocoa) can be prepared as follows. Even habitual coffee-drinkers will be unable to perceive any difference in taste between coffee and this substitute. Good and well-sifted wheat is put into a frying-pan over the fire and well fried, until it has turned completely red, and begun to grow dark in colour. Then it is powdered just like coffee. A spoon of the powder is then put into a cup, and boiling water poured on to it. Preferably keep the thing over the fire for a minute, and add milk and sugar, if necessary, and you get a delicious drink, which is much cheaper and healthier than coffee. Those who want to save themselves the trouble of preparing this powder may get their supply from the Satyagraha Ashram, Ahmedabad.