Dairy farmers had quite a marketing plan back in the 1980’s that made them more than 13 billion dollars in recent years. With commercials touting milk mustaches and encouraging little kids to drink their milk (even if it’s chocolate, and full of refined sugar), should we question if cow’s milk is really that ‘good’ for the body? Many people don’t believe in drinking milk at all, but much of the world drinks more goat’s milk than cow’s milk, so what’s up with the American addiction to the cow? In this match of goat milk vs. cow milk, which will come out on top?
We begin life relying on our mother’s milk, and breast feeding research makes it clear that feeding babies with breast milk far exceeds anything made by any corporation. So perhaps our obsession with cow’s milk comes from this strange correlation. Maybe not. The bottom line, though, is that the rest of the world drinks goat’s milk because it is simply better for the human body.
You don’t have to homogenize goat’s milk; it is naturally homogenized. Homogenization is a process done to cow’s milk to equally distribute the fat molecules so that when you purchase a jug from your grocery store it doesn’t have milk curd (milk cream) floating on the top of your milk. If you put two glasses of fresh goat’s and cow’s milk in the refrigerator overnight, the cow’s milk separates, and the goat’s milk does not. Homogenization of milk also causes fat cells to break, releasing a free radical called Xanthine Oxidase. As we know, free radicals aren’t good for you; they cause DNA mutations, among other things.
Cow’s milk sold in stores and not purchased fresh from a dairy farm is also pasteurized in order to kill any pathogenic bacteria, but this also kills all the good bacteria that contribute to healthy gut flora and proper digestion – of everything you eat, but also the cow’s milk you drink. Enzymes and vitamins A, D, and C are also eradicated in the process of pasteurization, and this is why Vitamin D is often added back into cow’s milk. Pasteurization kills the life out of the milk.
Goat’s milk is about 85% less allergenic than Cow’s milk, so people suffer intolerance less often. In children under three in the United States, milk is one of the most allergic foods
Goat’s milk is easier to digest for the majority of people than cow’s milk and most closely matches the milk produced by human body. The simplicity of digesting goat’s milk has to do with how fat is digested in the body. Basically, the fat molecules in goat’s milk are smaller, and therefore easier to stomach. Goat’s milk also contains less lactose, so there is less likelihood of developing an intolerance.
Goat Milk Advantages
The most significant difference between goat milk and cow milk is that fresh, unpasteurized cow milk forms a distinct cream-line at the top and goat milk does not. The reason is that goat milk is naturally homogenized which means the fat molecules are smaller than in cow milk and so remain evenly dispersed throughout the milk. The smaller size of the fat globules seems to make goat milk more digestible for some people but not all. I personally find no difference in digestibility between the two.
While the protein structure of cow and goat milk is fairly similar, goat milk is missing an alpha casein present in cow’s milk. In addition, when you drink a glass of goat milk and it reacts with the acid in your stomach, the protein curds that precipitate are smaller in size and a bit softer than the ones that form with cow’s milk. This is another reason some folks find goat milk to be more easily digested than cow milk.
Cow Milk Advantages
Cow milk is higher is vitamin B12 which so many people are severely deficient in. Goat milk also lacks folic acid making cow milk more suitable for homemade infant formula in the event the mother cannot breastfeed.
Cow milk is also higher in B6 making it a better choice for pregnant mothers who have morning sickness. My ex-wife suffered from B6 deficiency and morning sickness and found sipping fresh cows milk during the first trimester to bring almost immediate relief. Incidentally, B6 is destroyed by pasteurization so any sort of heat treated or pasteurized milk will not help in this regard. The milk must be farm fresh and preferably grass-fed.
Cow milk is usually more readily available than goat milk and is typically a lower cost per gallon making it more suitable for tighter budgets.
And The Winner Is?
So in the fight of goat milk vs. cow milk, goat milk does indeed come out victorious. If you’re a milk-drinker, go goat.
Goat’s milk is just better for you, overall. It has a greater concentration of essential fatty acids such as linoleic and arachidonic acid than cow’s milk along with higher amounts of vitamin B-6, vitamin A, and niacin. The milk also has higher levels of bioavailable iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which results in the restoration of altered haematological parameters and better levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH).