Talk to any dairy goat owner and chances are at some point in the conversation they will let slip the well-believed phrase “more people world-wide drink goat milk than any other type of milk.” As a dairy goat owner, I am sure that somewhere there are documented facts and statistics to back up this claim. But it does leave one question: Exactly who is drinking goat milk, and why? From my own personal experience of producing, selling, and drinking goat milk for the past 20 years, I can tell you. The people drinking goat milk are friends, neighbors, fellow countrymen, as well as immigrants and third-world inhabitants. Goat milk has been consumed for eons and continues to be the source of relief, even life, for many who would otherwise be unable to absorb proper nutrients from their diets. From my own son, to a woman named Mette Schutte, whose story is documented in the book, Goat Milk Magic, by Dr. Bernard Jensen, the real stories of people living and loving goat milk are many. Here are just a few of those stories. Some names have been changed to protect identity for legal reasons.
Keenan Stultz enjoys spending time with his favorite Nigerian doeling, Wil-O-Wisp. He also loves to drink goat milk.
When my son, Keenan (now age 11), was five years old, he was a robust, chunky little boy, active and full of joy and excitement about going to kindergarten. He was a big eater, loved just about everything placed on his plate, and drank goat milk morning, noon, night and for snacks in between. He loved pre-school, loved to play with his animals on the farm, loved to play with his friends, loved to show off his alphabet skills, and had a heart as big as a star-covered Kansas sky and determination to match it. Imagine our dismay and concern as parents when only a week into school he was complaining of headaches, stomachaches, and crying because he just didn’t feel good. It didn’t make sense. Was he playing sick just so he wouldn’t have to go to school? What was going on?
His teacher said he seemed to be stressed out at school and couldn’t concentrate. Maybe he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); maybe we as parents were putting too much pressure on him to succeed at school; maybe he just wasn’t trying hard enough. I couldn’t believe it. This was my precious son, who just weeks earlier sat on my lap for hours as we read books. He loved to color; he loved learning. I was convinced the teacher was at fault. How could he go from such a happy child to one so miserable in such a short time?
Despite our misgivings, we listened to the teacher. We took him to his regular doctor who recommended putting him on an anti-depressant (at age five), then saw a specialist who evaluated him for ADD and ordered two gastro-intestinal exams. The results were all inconclusive and the treatments they all came up with, unrealistic. They wanted my son to take medication for two different conditions I knew he didn’t have, and the side effects of the medications sounded like something out of a horror movie. Meanwhile my happy baby was still miserable with stomachaches, constipation and painful bowel movements. I thought I must have failed as a parent somehow.
One morning, while trying to convince Keenan he could make it through another day at school, I found a notice for special milk break payment in his backpack. My child had been drinking a carton of cow milk everyday at school for milk break for three months.. It never occurred to us that this was a problem; all children took milk breaks. But I suddenly realized my child had never had cow milk, or even cow milk products as part of his regular diet before. He had grown up on a dairy goat farm. I breastfed him until he was a year old, and he drank fresh goat milk from then on. Maybe Keenan was lactose intolerant. We never realized it because he had not been exposed to something he could not digest (cow milk) before. Excited, I phoned the school office to request he not be given any milk at school. To my surprise I was informed my child would have to continue taking milk break at school until I had a doctor’s signed statement that he was medically unable to drink it. Great. I had to go back to the doctor who was threatening me with intervention services because I refused to give my child Ritalin and Prozac on his orders. What a strange world we live in, when parents are no longer trusted to know what is best for their children.
My instructions to Keenan that day, take the carton of milk but do not drink it, just quietly drop it into the trash after milk break was over. It took another two months for us to get through the proper steps to officially get my son off the school milk break list, but from the day he quit drinking milk at school, Keenan’s stomach-aches, headaches and stress left him. My son was allergic to cow milk and once he was back to drinking his favorite goat milk at home, with just water or juice at school, his world was made right, without all those unnecessary high-powered drugs!
I am so thankful we discovered Keenan’s real problem with milk before he was immersed in the doctor prescribed drug treatments that were laid out for him. I’m sure that for some people these types of things are necessary, but for us, goat milk in all it’s natural goodness, was indeed a the miracle treatment. As difficult as it was for us to get through Keenan’s milk intolerance difficulties, I have goat milk customers who have suffered even more at the hands of a medical community that doesn’t understand the properties and importance of goat milk in a baby’s diet.
Many years ago, I met an elderly man who came to buy a goat in milk to provide sustenance for his granddaughter. The child had been taken from her mother by the state because she was “starving,” but through a bit of luck and answered prayers, the grandparents were able to get temporary custody. Frank (name changed) told me their family had a long history of lactose intolerance, and every generation had lost babies because they could not digest even breast milk. He was certain this baby was failing to thrive because it needed goat milk, but nobody in charge was listening. A year later, Frank called and said the baby was back with her mother and thriving on goat milk.
Skip ahead 15 years. Debbie, one of Frank’s daughters, called frantically looking for a goat milk source for her own granddaughter, three weeks old, only weighing five pounds and not growing. Her daughter was losing custody of the child because of care issues, likely because doctors were concerned the child wasn’t growing. This was her last hope. The baby was in a Children’s Home where she was wasting away. She had one chance to get her and had crossed miles of red tape but was successful. Of course, we added her to the goat milk customer list immediately, and as the weeks went by the baby started growing and thriving. Amazingly, doctors were baffled by the baby’s rapid turnaround in the care of her grandmother. The family keeps the fact that the baby is on goat milk sec- ret, fearing the child would go back into the Children’s Home where she was starving, because the doctor specifically ordered them not to feed the child goat milk.
Keenan Stultz, Hillsboro, Kansas, shares the magic of goats and goat milk with friends at school whenever he gets a chance. In May he demonstrated how to milk a goat and then shared goat milk samples with his elementary classmates.
Another goat milk customer at our farm related her story as follows. Her infant son had a terrible skin condition and cried all night. Things were just not going well. A pediatrician had them try all kinds of dry formula. Nothing seemed to work, but someone at a health food store turned them on to goat milk. They tried canned goat milk from the store and it seemed to help. Under the pediatrician’s recommendation, they looked for fresh goat milk, and now add a vitamin supplement and black strap molasses. The molasses helps keep the baby from getting constipated plus adds some additional nutrients. After two months on goat milk, the baby is happy and healthy, sleeping through the night, and has a beautiful complexion. Problems solved by goat milk.
And as for the story of Metta Schutte, mentioned at the beginning of this article. I read a wonderful book called Goat Milk Magic, by Dr. Bernard Jensen. In it was the story of a young woman who was dying of an intestinal disorder. Surgery to remove major body parts seemed to be her only option until she found Dr. Jensen. She moved to his ranch in California and spent the next 30 years drinking goat milk. She recovered, without surgery or other medical intervention, to lead a wholesome, active life, living almost exclusively on goat milk. Unfortunately, two weeks after she left the ranch to live in the city again, she was killed in a car accident. Goat milk, while a miracle food in itself, cannot protect humans from everything.
There are true stories of goat milk magic from almost any walk of life, and likely from any and every farm that has ever been a home to the wonderful dairy goat. I hope someday that official research will catch up to the facts that those of us who raise, bred, milk and enjoy dairy goats already know. Dairy goats and the milk they produce are wonderful, and it could be said that many lives depend on it. While I haven’t been able to document the statement about more people drinking goat milk worldwide than any other type of milk, I think it is safe to say that those who are drinking goat milk are happier and healthier than those who haven’t had the opportunity to do so.