The health benefits of goat milk vs cow milk may surprise you. More than 65% of the world’s milk consumption comes from goat milk. In the United States many people are turning to goat milk because of allergy and health considerations.
Here’s the scoop on goat milk vs cow milk:
Health Benefits of Goat Milk vs Cow Milk
When you pit goat dairy against cow dairy in the arena of health, the goats win every time.
Goat Milk vs Cow Milk: Allergies
Dairy allergies are rampant around the world. In the U.S. cow milk is the most common food allergy in children under the age of three. The main allergenic protein is casein. Goat milk contains 89% less casein than cow milk, and does not cause an allergic reaction in 93% of infants with cow milk allergies.
Goat Milk vs Cow Milk: Digestibility
The fats present in goat milk are different than those in cow milk. They are smaller and more easily digested, and the proteins form smaller clumps in the stomach allowing more complete digestion throughout the small intestine.
Goat Milk vs Cow Milk: Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is a sugar present in milk. Many people cannot easily digest lactose and suffer gas, bloating and other intestinal upset when they drink cow milk. Goat milk has less lactose than cow milk. It is also more fully digested in the stomach, leaving less “free lactose” in the intestines that can cause unpleasant reactions.
Goat Milk vs Cow Milk: Homogenization
Cow milk is homogenized before you purchase it at the store, because otherwise the fat (cream) separates from the milk. The process of homogenizing cow milk creates free radicals that can cause a variety of health problems, including cancer. Goat milk is naturally homogenized. Of course, this does make it difficult to make butter as the cream is very hard to separate out!
Goat Milk vs Cow Milk: Human Nutrition
The nutrient profile is one big difference between goat milk and cow milk. Goat milk simply provides a nutrient profile closer to that necessary for human development than cow milk. It has higher amounts of essential fatty acids, more vitamin B6, vitamin A and niacin, and much higher potassium. It does not acidify your body like cow milk can. The nutritional value of goat milk for humans is higher than that of cow milk
Flavor of Goat Milk
Many people become concerned by the supposed “goaty” flavor of goat milk. If you do a taste test of fresh goat milk vs cow milk you will be hard pressed to tell the difference. Goat milk does develop a stronger taste as it ages, but there is no reason no to drink it fresh. If you need to store the milk, simply freeze it.
Your Farm: Goat Dairy vs Cow Dairy
Keeping homestead cows or goats is the best way to get fresh milk. The choice between cows and goats depends on your particular situation. You can usually keep about 5 dairy goats or 1 cow with similar feed expenses. If you have a lot of brush land keeping goats will reduce feed costs, while keeping cattle makes sense if you have rich grass pastures. A good home milk cow easily produces 4-8 gallons or more of milk a day, while a prime milking goat will produce around 5 quarts. Goats are smaller and typically easier to manage if you are new to keeping livestock, and they are less expensive at the outset.
Learn about the benefits of raising Nubian milking goats.