Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk

When you think of having ice cream, a glass of milk, some cheese, a bowl of cereal, or some yogurt, the first thing that comes to mind is that all of these things (and many more things, such as cream and buttermilk) come from cows, and cows alone. However, there may be some who will be surprised to find out that goat milk (yes, goat milk) is also very prevalent and is commonly found in most people’s fridges, and on kitchen tables all around the world.

Goat milk is somewhat of a specialty item in most Western cultures, however. There are certainly many factors that can influence one’s preference when it comes to using goat milk for culturing, baking, cooking, drinking or cheese-making.

In upper class and ‘fine wining and dining’ type restaurants, goat cheese has earned its place in the menu-hall-of-fame due to it’s rich, creamy and yet delicate flavor. For some, that same distinctive taste is the reason that some have a preference for goat milk and other related goat dairy products.

When you compare the flavors and consistencies of both cow milk and goat milk, you will find that they are almost the same, but in some cases depending on the kind of goat, the conditions that they are raised in and their diet can change the flavor drastically.

A lot of people suggest that goat milk tastes the same as cow milk, but is slightly sweeter; when it is fresh, of course. Processed and packaged goat milk tends to have a ‘goaty’ and ‘smelly’ taste when compared to fresh cows milk, because of the time from the udder to the glass, when compared to raw milk. It is also different, regarding flavor and freshness, because of the plastic confines of the pasteurized milk.

Regarding appearance, they are also quite similar. However, goat cream, milk, and butter tend to be whiter than cow dairy products. The reason for this is because goats tend to convert their carotene to vitamin A much more efficiently and at a faster pace. This, in turn, makes goat dairy products brighter in color.

Because cows are naturally much larger and more quick and efficient at producing dairy products than goats are, it takes between five and ten goats to equal the same amount of milk that only one cow produces. However, once the fluid is extracted from the goat or cow, the consistency is still remarkably similar, and the differences are hardly more than minor.

Cow milk is sometimes shunned in favor of goat’s milk, which is also an excellent alternative to the former. The composition, flavor, color, smell, and consistency of goat’s milk vary depending on the health, age, location, and whatnot of the goat; the same thing goes for cows as well, of course.

When speaking of nutrition, here is how goats milk and cows milk compare.

Protein (g) 3.1g – 3.2g
Fat % (g) 3.5g – 3.9g
Calories/100 ml 60g – 66g
Vitamin A (IU/gram fat) 39g – 21g
Vitamin B1(thiamin (UG/100/ml) 68g – 45g
Riboflavin (ug/100 ml) 210g – 159g
Vitamin C (mg ascorbic acid/100 ml) 2g – 2g
Vitamin D (IU/gram fat) 0.7g – 0.7g
Calcium % 0.19g – 0.18g
Iron % 0.07g – 0.06g
Phosphorus % 0.27g – 0.23g
Cholesterol (mg/100 ml) 10g – 14g
Sugars ( and lactose) 4.4g – 4.8g
Saturated fatty acids (g) 2.3g – 2.4g
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g) 0.8g – 1.1g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g) 0.1g – 0.1g

As you can see, in most cases they are remarkably but also quite obviously similar. Both cow dairy and goat dairy products have their own time and place, and both are revered in different scenarios for their respective properties. However, if you’re looking for a tasty cheese to cut or spread onto some fruit or crackers, then you can bet your bottom dollar that you will be well off with either choice. Enjoy!