Goat Milk: Uses, Nutrition, and Comparison to Cow’s Milk




About Marc MacDonald

I’ve been raising goats for nearly 20 years now. Over those years, I accumulated a lot of information about goats and what works and what doesn’t.

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Goat Milk
Goat Milk is a delicious, versatile alternative to cow milk

Goat milk has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its nutritional benefits and digestibility. Produced by goats, this type of milk has emerged as an alternative to cow’s milk for those who may be lactose-sensitive or seeking a different flavor profile. Goat milk is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and medium-chain fatty acids; it offers a wealth of impressive health benefits. In this article, we look at goat milk nutrition, worldwide popularity of goat milk, and common goat milk products.


In comparison to cow’s milk, goat milk contains more protein and calcium, making it an attractive option for individuals looking to boost their nutrient intake. As it has a unique taste and composition, many people enjoy incorporating goat milk into a range of different products beyond just beverages.

While goat milk is considered safe to consume, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with raw goat milk. Some states in the U.S. have banned the retail sale of raw milk due to concerns about bacteria, so always ensure the milk you consume is pasteurized for your safety.

For those allergic to cow milk, goat’s milk can sometimes be a suitable alternative. It has a2 casein instead of a1 casein, less lactose, and smaller fat globules. However, goat milk allergies are still a possibility.

With an array of goat milk products and informative resources available, however, you can make an educated decision on whether this nutritious alternative suits your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Goat milk offers a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk for those lactose-sensitive or seeking a different flavor
  • Containing more protein and calcium than cow’s milk, goat milk can boost nutrient intake
  • Always ensure the consumption of pasteurized goat milk to avoid potential risks associated with raw milk.
  • Goat Milk is most popular in Asia, but its use is increasing in other regions
  • Goat milk is the primary ingredient in several specialty and luxury products

Goat Milk Popularity

Popularity in the United States

Although cow milk is more popular in the United States, goat milk and its by-products such as cheese and yogurt are steadily gaining recognition due to their nutritional value. Goat milk contains more protein, potassium, calcium, vitamins, and minerals compared to cow milk. This better nutritional profile has led to the rise of goat milk-based infant formulas. Furthermore, while goat milk still contains lactose, it has less than cow milk, making it a suitable alternative for the 65% of the world’s population diagnosed with lactose intolerance.

Goat Milk products are often found at local farmer’s markets. Goat milk skincare products are often sold, with items such goat milk lotion, soaps such as goat milk eczema soap, body butter, and lip balms being the most popular. Goat Milk cream is another product that is available commercially.

Goat Milk Popularity
Goat Milk is popular worldwide

Popularity in Europe

Dairy goats have a long history in Europe. In particular, the most common dairy goat breed, the Saanen goat originated in Switzerland.

While goat milk has been popular in Europe for some time, the demand for goat milk and its derivative products has seen a steady rise as more European consumers become aware of the potential advantages it offers over traditional cow’s milk. Its lower lactose content, easier digestibility, and distinct flavor profile make it an attractive choice, particularly for those with lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergies. Moreover, the European market has responded to this growing demand by offering an increasing variety of goat milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and even ice cream.

Popularity in Asia

Asia is home to the largest proportion of the global dairy goat population, with 52% of the total 218 million dairy goats in 2017. The consumption of goat milk and its by-products is widespread across the region, with countries like China and Korea opting for goat milk-based infant formulas. The nutritious nature of goat milk, as well as its relatively lower lactose content, makes it an essential part of the daily diet for many lactose-intolerant individuals within the Asian population. In Asia goat milk is also used as part of skincare routines, as goat milk has benefits to skin.

Popularity in Latin America

In Latin America, goat milk is becoming increasingly popular for its nutritional benefits and as an alternative for those with lactose intolerance. The production of goat milk and its by-products such as goat milk cream cheese and yogurt is growing in the region, catering to the increasing demand for healthier dairy options. Goat milk-based infant formulas are also being introduced in these markets, attracting more consumers towards goat milk and its derived products.

Popularity in India

India, being a part of Asia, shares the continent’s high preference for goat milk and its nutritional advantages. A large number of lactose-intolerant individuals in the country benefit from the consumption of goat milk and its products, such as cheese and yogurt. The availability of goat milk and processed products in the Indian market is growing to meet the rising demand.

Goat Milk Price Vs Cow Milk

When considering goat milk and cow milk, one notable difference is the price. Goat milk is typically more expensive than cow milk, and there are several factors that contribute to this price difference.

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk
While similar, goat’s milk and cow’s milk are also quite different

Firstly, the amount of milk produced by a goat is significantly lower than that of a cow. It takes the milk of approximately five to ten goats to equal the production of one cow. This makes goat milk a less abundant resource, leading to a higher cost. Additionally, the smaller size of goat farms and the higher cost of maintaining a goat herd compared to a larger cow farm can also impact the price of goat milk.

Secondly, the popularity and demand for cow milk far exceed that of goat milk. Cow milk is more readily available and consumed on a larger scale around the world. This increased demand, paired with economies of scale, makes cow milk more affordable than goat milk.

Lastly, the production process of goat milk products, such as cheese, is often more labor-intensive and specialized due to the unique properties of goat milk, leading to a higher cost per product. The smaller fat globules in goat milk, along with its lower creaminess, require different techniques and equipment for processing, adding to the overall cost.

In conclusion, the factors contributing to the higher price of goat milk compared to cow milk include lower production volumes, smaller-scale farming, higher maintenance costs, and specialized processing techniques. Despite the higher price, goat milk offers unique benefits to those who have sensitivities to cow milk or prefer its taste and nutritional profile.

Goat Milk Nutrition

Goat milk is a highly nutritious food due to its composition of various beneficial nutrients including protein, vitamins, and minerals. In this section, we will discuss the nutrition values of goat milk, focusing on calcium levels.

Goat Milk Nutrition and Goat Milk Calcium
Goat’s milk is refreshing and nutritious

Goat Milk Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for the body, contributing to bone health, teeth, and muscle function. Goat milk can be an excellent option for those seeking to increase calcium intake, with a one-cup serving containing 327mg of calcium (33% of the daily value). This source of calcium may be preferred by some people due to its lower allergenic properties compared to cow’s milk.

Other Nutrients in Goat Milk

Additionally, goat milk is rich in other nutrients, such as:

  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Sugar: 11 grams
  • Sodium: 122 mg
  • Potassium: 498 mg (14% of daily recommended value)
  • Magnesium: 34 mg (9% of daily recommended value)
  • Calcium: 327 mg (33% of the daily value)
  • Phosphorous: 271 mg (27% of daily recommended value)
  • Vitamins include: Vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid
  • Minerals: Iron and selenium
  • Vitamin D – Goat milk, when fortified can have 15-25% of the recommended value of Vitamin D

Nutrients Missing in Goat’s Milk

While goat’s milk is a great source of nutrients, it is lacking in a few key ones. Unless fortified, it is a poor source of vitamin D. Additionally, goats milk can cause anemia, because it is low in iron. It is also low in folate (Vitamin B-9) and Vitamin B12.

Although goat milk is not suitable for vegans, it can be an attractive alternative for those experiencing lactose intolerance or allergy to cow’s milk, while still providing a balanced and dense source of nutrients for a healthy diet.

Goat Milk Digestibility

Goat’s milk has different properties compared to cow’s milk. Small fat globules and the protein composition of goat milk make it a potentially easier-to-digest option for certain individuals. While goat milk is not lactose free, it does have less lactose than cow milk does.

Goat Milk Butterfat

Goat milk is known for its unique butterfat content. The fat globules found in goat milk are smaller than those in cow’s milk, making it easier to digest for some people. Furthermore, goat milk contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are a healthier type of fat when compared to the long-chain fatty acids found in cow’s milk.

Here are the fat content values in a one-cup serving of whole goat milk:

  • Total fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 6.5 grams
  • Unsaturated fat: 3.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 27mg

Goat Milk a2 Casein Protein Content

Goat milk contains a2 casein, and no a1 casein, which may make it much easier for humans to digest. Cows milk, on the other hand, contains almost all A1 casein, except for cows specially bred to have this protein.

Can You Drink Raw Goat Milk

Raw goat milk, which is milk that has not been heated to eliminate bacteria or undergone any alterations, is considered by some as a more natural and nutritious option compared to processed goat milk. It is derived from goats’ milk supply and offers various health benefits, although consuming it straight from the source is not recommended.

Raw Goat MIlk
While milking methods have changed, goat milk production dates back millennia

One of the many advantages of raw goat milk is its high digestibility, making it easier for the body to break down and absorb nutrients. Its nutritional value is also noteworthy, as it contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C. In terms of fat content, raw goat milk has approximately 10 grams of fat per serving, which can contribute to heart health when consumed in moderation.

The fatty acids found in raw goat milk are similar to those in olive oil, which is known for its positive effects on heart health. These fats may help to improve cholesterol levels and support overall cardiovascular health. Additionally, raw goat milk is rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that aids in bone and teeth growth, as well as nerve function and muscle contractions.

Compared to other dairy free milk alternatives, like almond milk, raw goat milk offers a denser nutritional profile. It provides more naturally occurring nutrients that may be lacking in plant-based milk options. However, it’s essential to be cautious when consuming raw goat milk, as it may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to foodborne illnesses.

In conclusion, although raw goat milk boasts a unique array of nutrients and health benefits, it’s crucial to ensure its proper handling and pasteurization before consumption. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits and taste of fresh goat milk without putting your health at risk.

Common Goat Milk Food Products – Goat Milk is Versatile

Goat milk is a versatile ingredient, allowing for the creation of various delicious products. This section will focus on four common goat milk products: Goat Milk Fudge, Goat Milk Yogurt, Goat Milk Cheese, and Goat Milk Butter.

Goat Milk Fudge

Goat Milk Fudge is a delightful treat made by using goat milk as the main ingredient. It provides a unique and rich taste compared to traditional cow’s milk fudge. Common flavors for goat milk fudge include chocolate, vanilla, and maple. Recipes for goat milk fudge usually involve combining goat milk, sugar, chocolate (or other flavors), butter, and vanilla.

Goat Milk Yogurt

Goat Milk Yogurt
Goat milk yogurt is great whether plain, sweet, or savory

Goat Milk Yogurt is a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk yogurt, which might be easier to digest for some people. The yogurt-making process involves fermenting goat milk with beneficial bacteria, resulting in a creamy, tangy product. Many enjoy goat milk yogurt plain, but it can also be flavored with fruit, honey, or spices. Recipes for goat milk yogurt generally require goat milk, a yogurt starter culture, and a warm environment for the fermentation process.

Goat Milk Cheese

Goat cheese
Goat cheese made from Goat Milk

Cheese made from goat milk is known for its distinct flavor and texture. There is a wide variety of goat milk cheeses available, including soft fresh cheeses like chèvre and aged hard cheeses such as gouda or cheddar. You can also make cottage cheese, and feta. Recipes for goat milk cheese may vary depending on the type, but in general, they involve curdling the milk with an acid or rennet, draining the whey, and pressing or aging the curds as desired.

Cream Cheese and Cottage Cheese are also popular goat milk products.

Goat Milk Butter

Goat Milk Butter is made by churning the cream separated from goat milk until it reaches a semi-solid state. It is a creamy, slightly tangy alternative to cow’s milk butter, and can be used for spreading on bread, cooking, or baking. Recipes for goat milk butter require first skimming the cream from the goat milk and then churning it, either manually or using a machine, until the desired consistency is achieved.

Goat Milk Caramel

Carmel made from goat milk, known as cajeta in Mexico, is considered by many to be the best caramel available anywhere. The high butterfat of the goat milk, as well as the subtle tones of the flavor profile, set this caramel apart from others.

Other Goat Milk Products

Goat milk is used for many non food products, such as:

Where to Purchase Goat Milk

If you’re in search of goat milk, there are several places where you can find this nutritious and versatile dairy product. One of the convenient options is to explore online platforms, and one prominent name that comes to mind is Amazon. With its extensive range of products, the site is a nearly hassle-free way to purchase goat milk from Amazon from the comfort of your own home. You can browse through a variety of brands and options, read customer reviews, and compare prices to make an informed decision. Amazon’s user-friendly interface and reliable delivery services make it a popular choice for those looking to buy goat milk conveniently.

Apart from online marketplaces like Amazon, you can also find goat milk at local specialty stores and farmers’ markets. Many health food stores and organic grocery stores often stock goat milk in their dairy section. These stores often prioritize high-quality and locally sourced products, giving you the opportunity to support local farmers and enjoy fresh, wholesome goat milk. Additionally, farmers’ markets are excellent places to connect directly with local farmers who produce goat milk. Here, you can find not only the milk itself but also other goat milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and soap, expanding your options for enjoying the benefits of goat milk.

Video: Official Wageningen University Goat Milk Projects

In this short video, learn what the PhD projects at Wageningen University are investigating about goat’s milk.

This video from the Dutch Wageningen University covers how they are learning about goat milk

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of goat milk?

Goat milk is a nutritious dairy product that is easier to digest than cow milk for many people. It contains essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and D, and healthy fats. Goat milk can be a good option for those with lactose intolerance or cow milk protein allergies, as it has lower amounts of lactose and a different protein composition.

How does goat milk compare to cow milk?

Goat milk has a similar nutrient profile to cow milk but contains slightly lower lactose content and a different protein composition. This makes it potentially easier to digest for individuals with lactose intolerance or cow milk protein allergies. Goat milk also has more medium-chain fatty acids compared to cow milk, which may help with energy and metabolism.

What does goat milk taste like?

Goat milk has a distinct flavor that is often described as slightly sweet, tangy, or earthy. The taste may vary based on various factors such as the goat’s diet and how the milk is processed. Some people may notice a “goaty” flavor, while others find it quite similar to cow milk.

Is goat milk nutritious?

Goat milk contains essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, B2, and D, and healthy fats. Per 8-ounce serving, goat milk typically provides around 170 calories, 10 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates, most of which come from lactose.

Is goat milk popular?

Goat milk is most popular in Asia. It is gaining in popularity in Latin America and in the United States.

Is it legal to sell raw goat’s milk?

In some countries or regions, the sale and consumption of raw, unpasteurized goat milk are legal. These regulations vary by location, so it is essential to research local guidelines when considering consuming raw goat milk. In general, pasteurization is recommended to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria and pathogens.

Is goat milk good for allergies?

Goat milk can be a suitable alternative for those who have lactose intolerance or cow milk protein allergies. Its lower lactose content and different protein composition make it easier to digest for some individuals with sensitivities. However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before making a dietary change, especially in the case of severe allergies.

Can you make money with goat milk?

Besides consuming the milk you turn the milk into a variety of products. A good goat milk soap recipe is a place to start. You can also make lotions and body wash.

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