When looking for an alternative to cow's milk at the grocery store, not many people turn to goats. Soy milk has always been a popular choice. Almond milk is quickly rising in popularity. There's also rice milk and Lactaid to choose from. But goat's milk? Not so much.
While goat's milk is consumed around the world -- 65 percent of the world drinks it over cow's milk -- it's not often a choice in North America. And even if it were, chances are not many people would be likely to opt for it. That's because goat's milk has an undeserved reputation of, well, not tasting all that great. But, it can. And it is a potential option for those who don't respond well to cow's milk.
The Huffington Post talked to Dr. Kate Morrison, co-founder of Kabrita, about why people should consider goat milk as an option for those who cannot easily digest cow's milk -- and why it isn't an option at the grocery store... yet.
Dr. Morrison is a naturopathic doctor who found that time and time again, patients who came to see her with intestinal problems found a solution in goat's milk. It is the reason she turned to goat's milk when her son didn't respond well to cow's milk formula, and why she went on to start a company that offers goat's milk products for children.
Here's what we learned: People who suffer from mild sensitivities to cow's milk are likely to be able to enjoy goat's milk without any adverse effects; goat's milk is gentler on the stomach and easier to digest because its curd and fat react differently with our bodies. Goat's milk does not contain agglutinin, which means that the fat globules don't cluster together, making them easier to digest. It also has a higher proportion of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, which is easier for intestinal enzymes to handle.
Goat's milk also has a different kind of protein from cow's milk, which translates into a softer curd that is in turn softer on the stomach and easier to digest. The fact that it passes quickly through the stomach means there's less time for it to upset things. And lastly, goat's milk does contain a slightly smaller percentage of lactose. Goat's milk is also more similar to breast milk than cow's milk, which is why Dr. Morrison finds it to be a better option for toddler's formula and children's yogurts.
Bonus: unlike almond milk, goat's milk is nutrient rich -- just as rich as cow's.
According to Dr. Morrison, goat's milk is not currently a popular choice at many grocery stores simply because of supply and demand -- and that could be a result of its bad reputation. Many people hold the misconception that goat's milk will taste like goat cheese, strong and musty. This is just not true. There are many factors that can affect the taste of goat's milk: the breed of goat, the diet it consumes and its freshness. Goat's milk can be very mild. It also comes down to a matter of getting used to a new flavor.
But the supply seems to be changing. There are currently companies providing goat's milk options -- like Coach Farm's Yo-Goat, Laloo's goat milk ice cream and Big Picture Farm goat milk caramels, among others -- for those of you looking to give goat's milk a try. In a few years you might expect to find many more options. It all depends on you, the one creating the demand.