December 1, 2008

A Bit More About Goat Milk

Click on the title to take you to more info on goat milk.

I started investigating and reading about goat milk years back when we started raising goats. Mainly because most around here would turn their noses up at just the thought of drinking goat milk. Even the better half was actually hesitant in the beginning. His only experience with goat's milk was during his travels to Mexico and overseas. What he remembered was what he called a very off taste. The milk he tried else where seem to have tasted like our buck (male goat) smelled. Definitely not pleasant.

Another item I would like to point the goat milk you buy in the stores in cans is also unpleasant. It does not taste like fresh goat milk at all.

In order to have fresh sweet goat milk, you have to keep your buck down wind from your dairy does(ours is across the farm from our milk goats). The bucks become quite odoriferous (stinky) and if the girls are kept close, their milk will pick up the odor of the buck. You definitely do not want that.

What you feed your dairy goats also plays an important role in the taste factor of the milk. If the goats are out eating weeds, wild onions and acorns, you can probably expect your milk to taste the same. However, if fed a dairy goat ration, alfalfa or good quality hay, your milk will be fine.

Handling of the milk is a very important factor in how the milk will taste. Cleanliness is a must. Avoid using plastic containers to collect or store the milk in. Well I suppose you can use plastic as long as it is extremely clean. I have an issue with using and storing milk products in plastic, fear of bacteria leaching into plastic so I use all stainless steel to collect and glass to store.

Keeping a lid on the fresh milk while out of doors, in the milk barn/room, etc. is important. Airborne germs can effect and collect in the milk. Bringing the milk inside as quickly as possible, straining and quick chilling are what I consider the key factors in keeping your milk fresh and tasty.

Ok so you read...

#1 - Goat milk is naturally homogenized.
Yes, this is good. Means goats milk has smaller fat particles which remain suspended (fat is lighter than water) longer than in cow's milk.
You know how fresh cows milk will develop cream on top. Goats milk will separate and have cream rise to the top, it just takes longer due to the smaller fat particles.
Why is naturally homogenized a good thing?
Since cow's milk is mechanically homogenized this mechanical process releases the enzyme, xanthine oxidase, which has been shown to invade the blood stream and create scar damage to the heart and arteries. This damage stimulates the body to release cholesterol to lay protective fatty material on scars, causing arteriosclerosis. Goat milk does not do this.

#2 - Goat Milk is Easier to Digest than Cow Milk
Goat milk has smaller protein molecules than cow milk, the fat molecules in goat milk have thinner, more fragile membranes, and are half the size of those in cow milk.
This leads to an average curd tension that is literally ½ that of cow milk (36 grams for goat milk and 70 grams for cow milk). Curds from milk form in the digestive tract or during cheese or yogurt making (anywhere that the milk is subjected to acid). Having less curd tension means that the milk is less "tough", and easier to digest. Dr. Bernard Jensen showed that goat milk will digest in a baby's stomach in 20 minutes, whereas pasteurized cow milk takes 8 hours. The difference is in the make up of the milk.


#3 - Goat Milk For Those Who Are Lactose Intolerant
Ok, I am walking proof on this one. Am lactose intolerant when consuming cow milk products. Though do not have the same symptoms when consuming goat milk products. Wondered why really, since cow and goat milk both have the sugar which is the culprit that causes the intolerance.
Inquiring minds did more research and found...
Because unpasteurized goat milk is digested very rapidly(see #2), lactose (the main sugar found in milk), does not remain for long periods of time in the intestines, where it can ferment or cause an osmotic imbalance, followed by digestive upset. And goat milk contains 7% less lactose than cow milk.

1 comment:

thecrazysheeplady said...

I had a bottle lamb that wouldn't tolerate powdered replacer and switched to goat milk as a last resort. I would not put another baby on anything but, ever again. I'd like to have a dairy goat for my own use, but just don't need one more thing to do around here right now. Sigh.