Shavuot is the holiday where we have a tradition of serving dairy products. With many people, that's problematic because of lactose intolerance, which leads to indigestion, bloating, flatulence and irregularity. Ironically, despite the hype, cow milk actually bleeds the body of calcium and can lead to osteoporosis. What's more, many suffer from milk allergies; a glass of milk is liable to make them break out in acne.
So what do you do, especially of Shavuot? Substitute the "moo" - cow milk, for "maa'aah", goat milk. Even if cow milk doesn't cause you problems, goat milk is umpteen times healthier. Here are a few reasons why:
- Goat milk is more digestible - the protein in goat milk forms a softer curd than cow milk – and this also decreases the irritation that one might otherwise experience with cow milk.
- Goat milk is great for heart health - it contributes to the healthy type of cholesterol - HDL - without upping the bad type of cholesterol, the LDL. What's more, it's a fantastic source of magnesium.
- Goat milk combats inflammation - in Israel, we use goat milk to combat mouth sores. Since goat milk is less acidic than cow milk, people with ulcers can also drink it.
- As opposed to cow milk, the calcium in goat milk adds to bone strength and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
- Goat milk is a better metabolic agent than cow milk - it boosts the metabolic utilization of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also has A2 beta-casein, which is far healthier than A1 beta-casein that cow milk contains.
- Goat milk works well for lactose-intolerant people who can't drink cow milk.
- Goat milk more closely resembles human milk and is therefore healthier for babies and toddlers than cow milk and is the next best thing to mother's milk.
The only disadvantage I can think of when it comes to goat's milk is the high price. But, when considering its health advantages and great taste, it's worth it!
By the way, people think that the "Land of milk and honey" (Exodus 13:5) - none other than our holy Land of Israel - refers to cow milk and bee honey. Wrong! The Gemara in tractate Ketubot 111b says the words 'flowing with milk and honey' refer to milk that flows from goats’ (udders) and honey that flows from trees, particularly dates.
With the above in mind, we recommend the "maa'aah" (neigh) of the goat over the "moo" of the cow. Try it, and may you have the best Shavuot ever. Yours with blessings, LB