The world's largest dairy exporter, Fonterra, and its bioscience research team ViaLactia, have discovered a gene mutation in one of Fonterra's "cash cows." This Friesian cow, more famously known as Marge, has a genetic predisposition to produce milk that is naturally low in fat, a breakthrough in bovine history.
While most cows produce milk with around 3.5 percent milk fat, Marge's milk contains only about 1 percent. Her milk is also higher in Omega-3s, lower in saturated fat and produces butter that, even after a night in the fridge, remains soft and easy to spread. Since the variation is naturally occurring, the milk steers clear of concerns over GMO related issues. The milk also avoids extra processing steps and therefore has less chance for contamination.
The best news of all is that the gene has been passed on to Marge's offspring. Unfortunately, we can't expect to see Marge's milk in the dairy section anytime soon. Fonterra says it will still be a few years until there's a herd of cattle large enough for mass production of the white stuff delivered to your local grocer.
For more information, download the press release here.