We have dairy Saanen goats on our farm (the Saanen has the mildest “goaty” flavor of the dairy breeds). I love the cheese we make from their milk, and even knowing that it is actually better for you than cow’s milk, I still cannot drink it alone. As a culture, the United States has made cow’s milk a standard social norm against other forms of milk that are well received in other countries. If prepared properly, most people cannot even taste a difference between the two. Simply recognizing what type of milk it is can turn people away, showing that it is a mental preference (predetermined by the social norm) and not a direct implication of taste or chemical make-up. Cow’s milk has been promoted heavily in agricultural business as well as markets through the large production of Holstein cattle that benefits both the farmer for more quantity and the sale prices retaining low prices for consumers. “Got Milk?” (California Milk Processor Board) is one of the promotional tactics to promote cow’s milk consumption.
Goat milk could help combat diabetes and those suffering with lactose intolerance, which are health issues that effect our social culture. Goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk due to having smaller fat globules. Although having similar caloric attributes, the easier digestive qualities allows most lactose intolerant people to drink it as well as eases the impact the sugars carry to the blood stream for diabetics. If the societal norm would allow for various milk products to be viewed as equals (at least) to cow’s milk, then, even if prices retained their value, the social acceptance of alternative milks would allow their health benefits to make a greater impact on our population as a whole. Many who could actually use milk (if it wasn’t cow’s) do not pursue the possibility because the alternatives are taboo in our culture.