Not your traditional milk – but just as good!

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Any of the volunteers and staff who have worked at our program over the last two years will likely be able to tell you something about goat’s milk, as it’s been a familiar donation to our program over this period. Because it’s a regular donation for our program, some of our faithful blog readers may also feel familiar with this product since we’ve likely mentioned it in a few earlier blogs. Either way, let’s continue the trend in helping more people become familiar with goat’s milk!

To do that, here’s some information that I’ve collected through online research, pamphlets we’ve ordered in for our lobby racks, and the Mornington Dairy‘s website:

  • Goat’s milk and cow’s milk taste about the same. Basically if no one told you they poured you a glass of goat’s milk you probably wouldn’t know. The only thing is you may notice it has a slightly creamier or thick texture.
  • Goat’s milk is not recommended to be used as an infant formula or fed to infants less than nine months of age. It’s also best to avoid whole (3%) goat’s milk until a child is two years of age, until you’ve consulted with a health professional.
  • Many people with allergies or intolerance to cow’s milk can drink goat’s milk because it contains a different kind of protein, which is easier to digest. There is also a slightly lower amount of lactose, which can make this a great alternative for those with lactose intolerance.
  • The fat particles in goat’s milk are one-fifth the size of cow’s milk, which makes this milk easier to digest, especially for those with digestive problems, ulcers, lactose intolerance or other sensitivities to dairy.
  • Nutrition comparison: There is a similar amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, iron, and vitamins C and D in both milks. However goat’s milk naturally has more 13% more calcium, vitamins A and B; 30% less cholesterol; and 13% less lactose than cow’s milk. However goat’s milk contains a significantly lower amount of folic acid in comparison to cow’s milk.
  • Goat’s milk, butter, cheese and other products are pure white because all the yellow beta-carotene is already converted to a colourless pure vitamin A.
  • Goat’s milk has a different type of cholesterol that cow’s milk, which makes it more easily absorbed by the body and brain and is essential to the health of the myelin sheaths “white matter” of the brain and nerves.

Well if all of these wonderful facts aren’t enough to sell you on the idea of goat’s milk, you’re not alone! Many of our staff and volunteers were unsure of this “unusual” milk when we received our first (of many) donations on October 21, 2008. So to help break down some of the unfamiliarity with this product, we got some and tried it ourselves! A few cartons of goat’s milk were put in our break room refrigerator where staff and volunteers were encouraged to try a glass – and it got a lot of positive reviews! And now thanks to many of our staff and volunteers who utilized the opportunity to try this delicious milk, we are better able to pass on our personal testimonials to encourage others to try this product in their hamper.

Thankfully many of our patrons have been willing to try goat’s milk! We’re generally able to give it out just as fast as we get it in, and well before the expiration. If they have to return to us, some patrons love this milk so much that it’s now to the point where they specifically request goat’s milk in their hamper during intake conversations. And we couldn’t be happier since it’s a great and regular donation that we’ve come to rely on from Mornington Dairy to help increase the fluid milk servings in each hamper. But instead of getting into hamper nutrition (since there’s other posts dedicated more to that), I’ll provide you with some insight as to how much support we’ve seen from Mornington Dairy’s goat’s milk product donations.

Year

Approximate total Donation in Litres

2008 (as of October 21)

1314

2009

18680

2010 (as of September 2)

11364

WOW – that’s over 31,000 litres of (white and chocolate) goat’s milk over the last two years (approximately)! It is incredible to see a wonderful organization like this that is able to provide so much charitable support to their community. Thanks to their very generous and consistent donations we’ve had enough goats’ milk to distribute it on 304 days of the last 23 months, which makes a big difference since cows milk is in very short supply at our program most weeks.  That helps our program patrons stretch their hamper a little further since milk is a common ingredient in a lot of recipes and the goat’s milk contributes some serious nutrition as well, helping to maintain overall health and wellbeing.  Since milk is such an important staple item, it also brings a great deal of psychological relief to people trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in difficult economic times.

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