Given the United States' love of cow's milk, it may difficult to believe that goat's milk is the preferred milk throughout much of the rest of the world. When you think beyond our standard gallon of milk however, and consider the product's history and where it comes from, it actually makes sense. Since goats only require a small grazing space, a family can enjoy a healthy, fresh supply of milk right from their own backyard. Goats have been a food source (for both their meat and milk) for thousands of years, with herding of goats beginning about 10,000 years ago in the mountains of Iran. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs, Greeks and Romans are also known to have valued goat's milk and its cheeses.
Although some may turn their head from that often pungent-smelling goat cheese, fresh goat's milk and freshly made cheeses (made within 1-2 days of milking) can actually taste somewhat sweet and slightly salty. For those who favor less processed milks or perhaps cannot drink cow's milk, goat's milk is a wonderful alternative. In fact, goat's milk provides an excellent source of calcium. With just one cup, you can receive 32.6% of the recommended daily value in comparison to 29.7% found in cow's milk. Goat's milk is also high in tryptohan, and a good source of protein, phosphorus and potassium. It's low in essential fatty acids, just like as other milk sources, but as a benefit, goat's milk contains more linoleic and arachnodonic acids and higher amounts of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier for us to digest.
Goat's milk should be kept very cold to prevent spoilage, so when buying try to select milk from the lower back section of the refrigerator case. Also give the bottle a quick sniff test to ensure there are no signs of spoilage. Store your milk in the body of your home refrigerator rather than on the door where it is more susceptible to warmer temperatures.
By Ellie Downing
Goat's milk can serve as an excellent calcium-rich alternative to cow's milk, as in general, it is easier for people to digest.