Goat Cheese Scottsboro AL

One reason goat’s milk is more readily digested is that its protein molecules are one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk, and much closer in size and composition to human milk proteins. “Trying to digest a cow protein molecule is like trying to get a marble through a sieve.

Suzanne Tormoen, MD
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Mobile, AL
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Good Food - Getting Your Goat

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By Dorothy Foltz-Gray

Goat cheese wasn’t something I loved right off the bat. At first I thought chèvre, the soft and most common variety, tasted like ricotta crossed with the inside of a tennis shoe. (I later learned I wasn’t buying the good stuff.) But since the 1980s, as I met chèvre coming and going—in salads, wrapped in roasted red peppers, on toast topped with sun-dried tomato—I’ve grown to love its nonconformist nature, the musky pungency that gives a simple salad or vegetable some spine.

I’ve also discovered many other delicious goat cheeses—nutty parmesan-like varieties, oozing camembert-like and cheddary versions—and last week I had my first goat’s milk cappuccino (more on that later). The more I learn about goat products, the more committed I become to eating them because, frankly, I’ve been missing a golden nutritional opportunity.

For starters, goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk. For the myriad folks with fussy guts—like me—or an allergy to cow’s milk, that’s welcome news. Those who have the most to gain are the 2 to 10 percent—by some estimates the number is three to four times as high—of American children who are allergic to cow’s milk, but need a tasty way to get the calcium their developing bones require.

One reason goat’s milk is more readily digested is that its protein molecules are one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk, and much closer in size and composition to human milk proteins. “Trying to digest a cow protein molecule is like trying to get a marble through a sieve,” says naturopath Gloria Gilbère, author of Nature’s Prescription Milk.

The fat molecules in goat’s milk are also from one-half to one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk, and it has a higher proportion of shorter-chain—meaning more easily digestible—fatty acids. “The fat molecules are broken down and absorbed without the irritation you can get from cow’s milk,” says Deb Baker-Racine, a Canadian nutritionist and homeopath with a practice in Huntsville, Ontario.

The short fatty-acid chains also mean less mucus formation, a plus for those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, or even colds and sinus problems. In fact, when a friend of mine substituted goat and soy milk for cow’s milk to address her six-year-old son’s chronic congestion, his nose cleared up within two weeks—no more sniffling, snoring, or coughing.

Goat’s milk fans cite other advantages, too. It has roughly the same number of nutrients as cow’s milk but these, too, are easier to absorb, according to a number of recent studies at the University of Granada in Spain. Goats are never treated with bovine growth hormone, which has been linked, in at least one recent study on cow’s milk, to prostate cancer. And there’s another perk: Switching to goat’s milk may cut down on a person’s allergic response to cow’s milk, according to Baker-Racine. “When I put people on goat’s milk,” she says, “they’re eventually able to eat the occasional cow’s product without distress because the g...

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