Monday, June 11, 2007

Researchers Find 'Skim Milk Cows'


I know you guys count on me to find this fascinating stuff for you. So here's today's revelation: A genetic trait causes certain cows to produce skim milk.

(May 29, 2007) -- In a few years, skim milk may come straight from the cow, it was reported this week.

Skim milk is usually produced by taking all of the fat out of regular milk, but in 2001, researchers found a cow that skipped that step. While screening a herd of cows, they found one with a natural gene mutation that makes her produce lower-fat milk than a normal cow.

Marge, as researchers later named her, makes milk that has 1 percent fat (as compared to 3.5 percent in whole milk) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. And remarkably, Marge’s low-fat milk still has the same delicious taste as conventionally produced low-fat milk, according to the report in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

The low saturated fat content of Marge’s milk also means that butter made from it is spreadable right out of the fridge, while most butter has to come to room temperature before it can be spread on toast. After researchers found that Marge’s daughters also produced low-fat milk, they surmised that the genetic trait was dominant and planned to breed herds of skim milk-producing cows. (Marge and her offspring live in New Zealand.)

ViaLactia, the company that owns Marge, expects the first commercial herd of cows supplying natural low-fat milk and spreadable butter for the market by 2011.

But because cows are normally selected for breeding because they give a high milk yield, this new selection criteria could mean the skim milk cows would produce less milk, said Ed Komorowski, technical director at Dairy UK and who is not affiliated with the research—so more cows could be needed to produce the same amount of milk.

And "normal" cows wouldn’t disappear, he told LiveScience, as their milk would still be needed to make fattier products such as cream.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Now when they find the cow that makes chocolate milk, I will buy stock.

Don't forget to stop by The Good The Bad & The Unread today, too!


  1. That was interesting! Now I don't know if the chocolate milk will ever happen! lol

  2. Now, that would require some heavy gene manipulation.

  3. I thought of the chocolate milk cow as soon as I saw the topic of your post!! I'll be in line to get that stock as well.LOL LOL :) :)

  4. Great minds do think alike, don't they?

  5. You gals are SO creative! I mentioned this discovery to several people.

    Our No Frills & HyVee grocery stores have a new milk producer with refillable glass jars just as in days of yore; displaying humorous sayings on them (I'll make notes & post soon) $1.50 deposit with 2 small sizes of pink, brown & white milk (TOO heavy to make in gallon sizes.) Did you know a gallon of milk weighs EIGHT lbs?! The things you learn when you had trouble grasping and lifting!! :( A tub of dirty dishes weighs over 10 lbs.

  6. EIGHT pounds! No wonder I have so much trouble carrying two in one hand any more! LOL