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Goats vs. Cows (Milk): You might not know what you're missing

Updated on June 6, 2009

When I was 18 years old, I ended up in Urgent Care because every time I ate, I got sick. I dropped a lot of weight in a very short period of time. After several tests for bacteria and parasites, the doctors found that I was severely allergic to lactose. Herein was the answer to a childhood filled with pain and sickness. I couldn’t digest it. It would ferment inside of me and when it went bad, I would get really sick. They didn’t have to tell me twice!

It’s not easy being allergic to dairy or being lactose-intolerant. Even in this amazing society and time that we live in with all kinds of foods prepared without common allergens, how’s a girl going to enjoy a slice of pizza? Soy cheese just doesn’t cut it! Add a gluten-intolerance on top of it and you have frustration with food choices! Do you want to know what the sad thing is? Most people are allergic (or sensitive) to both dairy and gluten and they don’t even know it. They suffer from a host of digestive upsets, inflammation, maybe arthritis, eczema, ear infections, or asthma, and they don’t know that the elimination of these inflammatory and aggravating foods could eliminate their discomfort. Again, that’s an article for another time… but think about it. Are you really feeling WELL? All the time?

Goat's Milk

What I want to tell you about is the beauty of goat’s milk. I was scared to try goat cheese, though my craving for cheese had gotten more and more intense. Those who know me know that I really listen to my cravings and satisfy them, lest I deprive myself (shudder). So, I had soy cheese and almond cheese and they’re okay. I guess. But I wanted flavor! Sharpness, tartness, texture! Venturing into a Whole Foods one day, I picked out a goat cheese and asked for a sample. It was amazing. (It was called Drunken Goat Cheese, by the way.) I bought some. As all food allergy tests go, I ate some and waited three days for a reaction. Nothing. I ate it again and waited three days. I was loving this! Almost a year later, I happily eat goat cheese many times a week and love it!

I have SO MANY dairy alternatives for almost any cow’s dairy you crave, but I really want to address the health benefits of goat’s milk and why it’s a great alternative!

For one, it’s considered the “superior alternative” for children and adults rather than milk (Pitchford, 2002). On a global scale, goat’s milk is consumed more than cow’s milk. Our society is just different in that it prefers cow’s milk. Revered in Egypt, Greek mythology, China, France, and much of Europe, goat’s milk has a long history of health benefits and purity. And for some this may be news, but low-fat and non-fat dairy products are really refined and denatured, not giving your body what it needs. These products are missing the fat and enzymes that are necessary for calcium absorption. So, yes, dairy contains a lot of calcium; just make sure it has the fat so that you can actually absorb it! So if you choose the cow over the goat, please opt for full-fat, organic and non-homogenized. (Why not homogenized? It can set up the scene for fatty deposits on the arteries due to the entrance of the enzyme xanthine oxidase into the vascular system.)


Across many cultures, goat’s milk has been used to treat many conditions:

  •     Weakened conditions
  •     Convalescent conditions
  •     Emacation
  •     Malnutrition
  •     Anemia
  •     Stomach ulcers
  •     Nervous exhaustion
  •     Loss of energy
  •     Enriching intestinal flora (relieving constipation)
  •     Diarrhea


Making the Case for the Goat:

Cleanliness. If you can’t afford the organic milk products at the market, goat dairy is a great alternative because goats are generally more clean and healthy than cows, which means that they are not given antibiotics or other drugs like cows are given regularly.

Mucus. Most people know that consuming cow’s dairy when sick will increase the mucus production and isn’t advisable. However, this isn’t the case for goat’s dairy, which has a unique astringency that prevents (most) mucus formation!

Weight. Goat’s milk normalizes body weight for both under- and over-weight individuals.

Digestion. People with digestive troubles who avoid dairy (usually while avoiding gluten as well) experience a lot of freedom from these problem; gas, bloating, and diarrhea just being a handful of them. The structure of the fat in goat’s milk is more digestible, naturally homogenized, and contains more nutrients than cow’s milk. Where cow’s milk has a harder curd with large fat globules, goat’s milk has softer curd and smaller fat globules, which equals greater digestibility.

Nutrients. Goat’s milk is ten (10) times higher in fluorine, which build immunity, strengthens bones, protects teeth and unfortunately, is lost during pasteurization. I know there is a lot of fear around raw milk products, but consider it, if you are so inclined!

What to Expect!

What to expect: Goat’s milk should taste slightly sweet and maybe a little salty. It should be as fresh as possible and kept cold and sealed at all times. Try to get it fresh and maybe local (at your farmer’s market or local goat’s farm). It makes great yogurts, completely replaces cow’s milk in all instances, and the cheeses from goat’s milk vary from hard to soft, creamy to crumbled making additions to soups, salads, and snacks a breeze! One of our friend takes a soft Chevre goat cheese, slices it, coats it with cornmeal and pan fries before adding to salad. What a treat!


In Peace & Health,

Theresa

Get more free resources from Theresa Singleton, MA at http://www.freedomfromdiets.com!


Resources:

Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA.

Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Atria Books: New York, NY.

Comments

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    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 

      4 years ago

      Great hub! I am gluten intolerant, and, even though I can eat a little cheese, cows' milk give me a stomachache. I'm hoping to get a goat this summer. I can't wait to try making cheese with the milk!

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      This is a weird article! Just like hows it put and stuff! I don't think i'm using it for my college report! sorry!

      ta ta's for now!

    • icmn91 profile image

      icmn91 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Have you ever heard of the difference between A1 and A2 milk. Goats milk is predominantly A2 which may be the reason that it suits, whereas most of the normal cows' milk contains a mixture of A1 and A2 beta-caseins.

      Many who have self-diagnosed themselves as lactose intolerant are actually sensitive to BCM7, a milk opiod (ie morphine-like) that gets released in the gut upon digestion by A1 beta casein, but not A2 beta casein.

      The BCM7 is allegedly linked to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, mucus secretion, SIDS, possibly: autism, schizophrenia, coeliac disease, food allergies and more.

      Here in Australia, we have A2 milk and I drink it every day. No problems whatsoever. http://www.a2milk.com.au/

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      6 years ago

      A bit of information for all of you, after you finish your breast feeding stage your pancreas no longer helps you digest Lactose, so everyone is a little bit lactose intolerant, humans aren't meant to drink milk (as tasty as it is).

    • profile image

      Nicki 

      6 years ago

      Hi, my four year old son has had a constant cold for about a year. He would cough through the night, blocked up ears with excess wax, too much spit in his mouth and was generally just not right. A friend mentioned Goats milk. We bought a bottle and within 24 hours his nose dried up, wax has gone, he sleeps through the night with no coughing and the mucus/spit in his mouth has decreased. This in turn is now helping him to hear properly, speak properly and we now have a happier little boy!

    • Charra Rede profile image

      Charra Rede 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for this. I am gluten and dairy intolerant and it really is difficult to eat. Soy is not the best alternative either. I appreciate your comments, especially on "making the case for the goat". Well done. I'm going to try it.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Interesting hub. I have no allergies at all, but hate being part of the veal industry, and anyone who has even drunk even a glass of cow's milk is guilty of that. Where do goats stand in that? Are baby kids slaughtered to keep the nanny milk producing or what.

      Now, would a goat (or goats) look good in my London garden?

    • profile image

      ROSE MC CABE 

      7 years ago

      i to have an allergic to dairy patotoes and eggs and have just found out i had my son on goats milk from a year old,he just loves it

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      7 years ago

      Interesting read, I have to have goat's milk and gluten free bread or spelt bread. Unfortunately the goat's milk widely available here is homogenised and also pasteurised.

    • selahangel profile image

      selahangel 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Theresa:

      Great hub! I too am allergic to Dairy. I have been on Goats milk since I found out and it has really made my life easier. I am also one of those people you write about that is gluten intolerant. I actually wrote a hub on how to find out if you are gluten and dairy intolerant. Pop over and take a look sometime.

      BTW - I am also a cheese fanatic LOL ain't it just the case with us GF,DF people?

      Angel

    • profile image

      Matt Smith 

      9 years ago

      ... got an even better one for you... CAMEL MILK!!

      or at lease that's what the locals here swear by. i've introduced it into my diet since it's both RAW and ORGANIC here... plus it's the Somali super food!

      personally... i don't notice a difference... but i don't know what i should look for anyway.

      got any stats on "camel juice"?

      M

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