About Goats, A2 Casein and Wildfires

After quite a lot of chicken inspired stories, today I want to put another species into the spotlight, because they truly deserve it: GOATS.





As anything on this planet, goats can degenerate the planet or help to regenerate it. It’s all a matter of HOW we manage them. What differentiates goats from any other grazer is that they eat EVERYTHING. This can be a problem if you keep them in an “uncontrolled” way on a farm with vegetable gardens, fruit trees or olive trees (or “in masses” on a limited surface). However, “managed correctly” the fact that they eat even dry and thorny blackberry bushes (and similar) is a huge advantage because it allows to keep the countryside “clean” and the risk of wildfires low in a way that does not require the INVESTMENT of calories and resources but actually creates them.





In fact, before living in the countryside I was not aware how much PETROL is used to keep the farms, mountains, river banks, etc. CLEAN. Because indeed, plants GROW rapidly and if there is no livestock to eat all that organic matter, it has to be burned or cut regularly by people using petrol-fueled tractors or brush cutters to reduce the risk of wildfires and to avoid that everything becomes jungle (and many parts still do… overgrowing vegetation is, in fact, one of the contributing factors to wildfires and also to the extinction of fish in the rivers because it might grow so much that the sunlight can no longer reach the water which then changes the whole ecosystem).





In the past, there were many more people working as shepherds or goat keepers, but these days most of that abundant green matter does not feed our goats, sheep and cows (which would CREATE calories in the form of animal foods and improve soil fertility at the same time because while they eat, they also defecate and work the soil), but ends up being burned (either in a controlled way or in uncontrolled wildfires) or cut USING calories and resources – while our livestock is fed on corn and soy that we grow separately (often with lots of chemicals and GMO).





There are many reasons behind that rather absurd situation, some of them being:





  • The fact that most young people having exited the countryside to work in the cities
  • The industrialization of our food system, which
    • makes it much harder to make a living from grazing animals and transforming and selling their produce because of all the regulations, etc. – and
    • has made people buy their food at cheaper prices in the supermarkets
  • (Recently) The vegan movement pushing people to eat soy cheese over true cheese (for example)




From an ENVIRONMENTAL perspective, it is therefore a very good idea to buy goats and goat milk products from those people who still make the effort to graze their animals in a traditional way. That way, we support them, the goats (who get to live a happy life), the planet and ourselves. It’s as simple as that: if they cannot make a living from their activity, they will go and do something else.





From a NUTRITIONAL perspective, goat milk products also have some advantages over cow milk products (although I also love dairy products from holistically grazed cows!):





  • Goat milk (and also sheep milk and milk from Jersey cows) contains A2 casein which does not seem to be as reactive and pro-inflammatory (in other words, result in food intolerances) as A1 casein does (A1 casein is contained in cow milk except Jersey cow milk). In fact, a large percentage of intolerances to dairy are NOT due to lactose (the milk sugar) but to casein (the milk PROTEIN).
  • Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning that the fat particles are more or less of the same size, which makes the milk easier to digest (and is also the reason that the cream does not rise to the top).




So while it still depends on your individual astro-metabolic and constitutional type whether or not milk, yogurt or cheese will be supportive for you, you can at least make more informed decisions when you go and make your shopping.





Eat what you want to keep. Support what you want to see grow, i.e. a way of eating and living that appreciates and CREATES resources rather than wasting them.







                

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