Mooove Over Cows, It’s Goat Time!
Is Goat Milk Better For You?
It’s 2015, and that means it’s the Year of the Goat according to Chinese zodiac. So, what a more fitting time than now to discuss the benefits of goat milk?
The market for goat milk in America has been on the upswing in recent years, as people become increasingly aware of food allergies and sensitivities, and as more people become “foodies.” But as it turns out, what Americans view as a milk alternative or as a trend is actually the norm in other countries. According to various sources, including Fort Valley State University, goat milk is the most commonly consumed milk worldwide.
So, what is it about goat milk that the rest of the world knows but much of America doesn’t?
For one, goats eat less and take up less space for grazing than cows, making them a more practical animal for people across many countries to maintain. In fact, one goat produces around a gallon or more of milk per day, making goats ideal for families or small groups of people.
Another reason goat milk is so popular around the world is because it is known to be more tolerable for people who typically have problems digesting cow milk. Unlike cow milk, goat milk does not contain a substance called agglutinin, which means the fat globules do not cluster together, making it easier and quicker to digest.
Goat milk is also reported to be a safer alternative for the many people with allergies or sensitivities to cow milk. In comparison to cow milk, goat milk is similar to human milk in that it contains only trace amounts of alpha-S1, a casein protein that is one of the known culprits of sensitivities. As a potential advantage for those who are lactose-intolerant, goat milk contains slightly lower levels of lactose than cow milk (4.1 percent compared to 4.7 percent). According to an article by well-known pediatrician Dr. William Sears, scientific studies have not found a decreased incidence of allergies to goat milk, but anecdotal evidence largely points in the direction that it is gentler and more tolerable for people with sensitivities.
In addition to those potential benefits, goat milk is higher in various minerals than cow milk. According to information obtained from the USDA’s Nutrient Database, whole goat milk contains more potassium, calcium, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B-6, and vitamin A than whole cow milk. It does, however, contain lower levels of folic acid and vitamin B-12.
Goat milk’s attributes have helped to build up its reputation in the health food market. Goat milk products have become so popular that America’s leading goat milk manufacturer and distributor, Meyenberg Goat Milk Products, has seen its sales double over the past 10 years. The company’s two production plants are both operating at 100 percent capacity and its products are available in 90 percent of grocery store chains and many health food stores nationwide.
Meyenberg has been around since 1934, when the company established itself in the green valleys of Central California. It started as a medicinally-focused, niche-market company that provided evaporated goat milk exclusively in pharmacies as an alternative for children with sensitivities to cow milk. In 1954, Robert Jackson assumed leadership of the company. Over the years, Jackson and his wife Carol began to market Meyenberg’s products to a larger population, focusing special attention on the ever-expanding group of health-conscious consumers.
“Having nurtured the young of mankind for centuries, it’s used for everything from sick children to seniors with digestive problems and also whole families who really enjoy the flavor of goat milk and the special benefits of it,” Carol Jackson said. “Goat milk has been called the Universal Mother’s Milk because of its versatility for those with sensitivities to other milks.”
With all its benefits, it’s clear that goat milk is here to stay and will likely continue to grow in popularity. Only time will tell if America will catch up to the rest of the world in making goat milk the most commonly consumed milk. For now, at least, let’s all celebrate the Year of the Goat with a tall glass of Meyenberg Goat Milk!
Written by Malory Speir
As always, consult a medical professional before beginning any new protocol.
Ask Doctor Sears, askdrsears.com (Retrieved January 2015). “Benefits of goat milk” Sears, William.
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Report (2004). “The goat industry: structure, concentration, demand and growth”