Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Many Uses of Goat Milk

Tuesday's class was a combination of the things I love most: being outdoors on a beautiful day, learning through hands on activities, good conversation, cooking, and of course EATING! From start to finish, I was just excited about what we were doing.

I was surprised how much easier milking goats was than milking cows, but also how much less milk they produce. Goats aren't a part of farms in my region, they take a backseat to cows & pigs. Until recently, I thought goats were only used as pets. Growing up, milking cows was a part of life. I remember how special it was to get to go milking with my Papaw. It meant you got to ride the ATV to the barn, it meant you got to help, it meant you were a part of what he loved to do. (Once it meant a trip to the doctor after getting kicked in the ribs by a cow- but that's a completely different story!)

All of this reminiscing coupled with our discussions of the uses of goat's milk made me think about why we use cow milk instead of goat milk and what exactly we can use goat milk for.

 Here's what Google taught me about the many uses of goat milk:
-According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, goat's milk is a better calcium boost for children than vitamins. This is because goat's milk is easier for the human body to break down, absorb, and use than cow milk or vitamin supplements.
- According to a study completed by the University of Delaware, goat's milk is an excellent (and natural) treatment for stomach ulcers.
- Cheeses made out of goat's milk are often lower in fat, carbs, and cholesterol than their cow milk counterparts. This is especially true for cream cheese.
- Goat's milk can be used to make soap too. It dries out the skin less than regular soaps, and contains a lot of very useful vitamins and minerals. If the soap is homemade, it often has very few or no chemicals at all making it great for sensitive skin.
-Goat milk can be used to make almost all dairy products we associate with cow milk. (We saw this at Kate's house with the yogurt and cheese, but you can also make ice cream & butter out of goat milk.)  

Pretty neat, huh? Are there any additional uses you all know of? Any clues or ideas as to why we favor cow products over goat?


  1. The goats were such a fun experience. I was completely terrified of hurting the goat when I tried to milk it until Kate said it relieves the pressure the goat feels. The milk didn't taste too different from cow milk to me, not even a little bit funky or earthy. The cheese was also super good. That was a very nice day!

  2. Mary, I don't have the exact answer to your question why we favor cows over goats, but I imagine it's cultural. Europeans developed a cow culture, whereas other places developed goat cultures. It probably also had to do with pasturable land....cows need more than goats. Cultures that consume a lot of cow's milk are rare, though, which is why most of the world is lactose intolerant.