"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway"
- John Wayne

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goats Vs. Cows - "Goat's milk is disgusting!"

One "moos" and the other "bleats".  One is as big as a horse and the other as big as a dog.  One has 4 teats to the udder and the other has 2 teats to the udder.  One produces as much as 10 gallons of milk per day and the other produces as much as 2 gallons of milk per day.  The cow, therefore, is more productive in making milk for a population of our size.  The goat, therefore, is not productive in making milk for a population of our size.  However, goat's milk is valued for more than just a "gallon of milk" because it can compare in flavor to cow's milk, has major health benefits, and makes delicious dairy byproducts.

When most people think of goats, they immediately think of stinky and smelly creatures that either chew on everything or eat everything.  Even though the aforementioned may be true, they are quite a nutrient powerhouse for an animal of their size.  For some reason, goats give a negative connotation in people's minds.  When the thought of drinking milk from a goat is tossed around, people suddenly vomit a little in their mouths.  It might go like this:  "Milk from a goat!  That's disgusting!"  or "Goat's milk is disgusting!"  or even "Goat's milk?  I bet it tastes really bad".  Believe it or not, there is no flavor difference in goat's milk than in cow's milk.  Believe it or not, goat's milk is not any less different than cow's milk!

Growing up drinking cow's milk, I admit the thought of goat's milk grossed me out.  It wasn't until I visited a farm where they kept dairy goats that I suddenly became curious as to why people (and myself) found goat's milk inedible.  I decided to raise my own dairy goats where I would keep the milk of my labor.  The very next morning, I had goat's milk for the very first time.  And I didn't turn into a violent green rage monster.  Personally, I found the goat's milk was a bit sweeter than cow's milk.  Also, I didn't homogenize or pasteurize the milk.  I was drinking raw whole goat's milk.

The major health benefits of goat's milk is it can be easily digested by humans, has a higher protein and lower fat ratio, and has a lower lactose concentration.  Goat's milk is more easily digestible because it contains shorter and medium fatty acid chains when compared to cow's milk.  Because these chains are shorter, the human stomach can break them down faster and may cause less bloating and gas.  For people who are watching their weight, goat's milk has high protein and low fat.  The fat provided in the goat's milk provides humans with more than a few of the essential amino acids such as tryptophan (essential for growth and development) and a high dose of the macronutrient Calcium.  The lower lactose concentration is better for people who are lactose intolerant.  Even though it is not ideal for people who are lactose intolerant to drink milk, some have said that drinking goat's milk doesn't bother them.

If taste and health benefits aren't enough persuasion, goat's milk makes excellent fromage de chevre (cheese of goat).  How could one forget the delicious types of cheeses that come from milk?  One can make cheese form cow's milk and one can make cheese from goat's milk!  Goat cheese is very popular among weddings and parties in America.  Overseas, Europeans enjoy goat cheese accompanied by fine wine either for an afternoon snack or only for supper.  I myself have even made cheese from goat's milk and it dissapears in my house in less than a week.  I can make half a pound of cheese from about 5 quarts of goat's milk (the rest of the volume is whey, the liquid which is not kept in the cheese).  The herbs and seasonings to add to cheeses are endless:  dill, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, jalapeno, cumin, orange zest, lavender, honey, etc.  Best of all, goat cheese contains probiotics which provide the immune system with essential bacteria to keep active and ready to fight a virus when needed; they are a collection of natural occuring cultures (also found in yogurts) that aid the body's immune system.

Even though their are numerous health benefits from goat's milk, I have faced the fact that people will have a psychological issue with goat's milk.  I understand cow's milk is more popular due to it's efficiency in production and it's lower prices on the store shelves.  Though I prefer goat's milk over cow's milk, I admit I cannot afford goat's milk anymore (I sold the goats I raised).  Over the summer, I worked for Camlon Farm, a Dairy Goat Farm where I learned the Dairy Goat business.  It was a great experience where I learned to make cheese and make soap from goats milk!  Since working for Camlon Farms, I have really appreciated the power that the Caprine Family holds.  Udder and all!

Beau, one of my goat's kids.

"CHEVRE IS SEXY, SKINNY, SMART." Goat Cheese Health Benefits. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.bellechevre.com/goat-cheese-health-benefits.php>.

Coila, Bridget. "Is Goat's Milk Healthy?" LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 17 Dec. 2010. Web. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/336633-is-goats-milk-healthy/>.

1 comment:

  1. Although I've never tried the milk, certinly like the cheese and the soap...? Well, I have tried a few kinds but it doesn't seem to lather, so not too impressed..can't tell what it's doing really...
    Now, Raquel, you may have inadvertently found a career for yourself in the goat industry..
    They are also the meat of choice in many cultures, and very tasty..the milk brings in a good return, the cheese would, too, and there is a growing need, and there will be a growing demand, for goat and all it's retail possibilities..and your talented Mum could design labels for you!