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Goat Milk Lotion

I am a big believer in goat milk.  I think it’s wonderful stuff.  The whole reason I got goats ten years ago was because I wanted the goat milk for my children to drink.

Because 0f my defense and promotion of the value of goat milk, many people are surprised by the fact that I don’t add any goat milk to my lotion.

I have a very good reason for not adding the goat milk – I feel that liquid goat milk lotion is not a safe product.

When I first started Goat Milk Stuff, I “spoke” with someone online who was making her own goat milk lotion.  She decided to send her lotion into a lab for microbiology testing.  She was pretty upset when she got back the results because despite her best efforts to make her lotion in a sterile environment and despite putting in the recommended dosage of chemical preservatives, her lotion came back contaminated with nasty microbiology she didn’t want on her skin.

She decided then that she was going to purchase some other goat milk lotions and have them tested without saying anything to the people who made them.

When she got the results back, she said that they came back positive for nasties like staph, strep, mold, fungus, and e-coli.  I kept an eye on her website for a year or so (in case she was lying just to discourage me – cynical, I know), and she never did offer goat milk lotion for sale herself.

Now, I didn’t run these tests myself and I have no idea the conditions under which they were made.  But I do know that everyone of them listed on their ingredients a preservative (although I don’t know how much).

But the end result showed me that (for me) making a goat milk lotion was not worth it.  Yes, goat milk is wonderful for your skin – in soap, where the saponification chemical reaction transforms the milk molecules into soap so it doesn’t grow nasties.  But not in a liquid environment that is perfect for growing bacteria.

I decided against making goat milk lotion because, in my opinion, the risk of contamination and the high levels of chemical preservatives that need to be added to keep the product safe, outweigh the benefit of any goat milk that is added.

I’m not saying that all goat milk lotions that are sold are unsafe.  I do believe that there are levels of chemical preservatives that prevent the growing of unwanted microbiology in goat milk lotion.  But those chemical preservatives are not something that I want to use on my children’s skin.

Over the years, I’ve had many people challenge me on my stance that goat milk lotion is not a safe product.  They argue that it is.  I’ve also had business people encourage me to just add chemical preservatives because I could make a lot of money selling goat milk lotion.

But when I started Goat Milk Stuff, the one thing I said was that I would NEVER make a product that I was not willing to use on my own children.  And I’m sticking to that promise.

So if you don’t want to use my solid lotion, because you’re looking for a lotion with goat milk in it, I can respect that.  I would still encourage you to try our solid lotion, because it’s wonderful stuff.  It may take some getting used to (people always want to put too much on at first), but it does a wonderful job on your skin.

But please know that despite my love of goat milk, I won’t ever be making a goat milk lotion unless they discover a miracle natural preservative.  Because unless that is discovered, I won’t use goat milk lotion on my family’s skin and I won’t break the promise I made.


Which is Better – Dairy Goats or Dairy Cows?

People ask me all the time why I chose to raise dairy goats instead of dairy cows. There are two main reasons – the milk itself and the animals themselves. After owning and milking a Jersey cow, it quickly became obvious that our family much preferred goats. I’ll discuss why we like goats as animals better in this article and why I prefer goat milk over cow milk in another article.

Dairy goats are smaller than cows. An average full-sized female dairy goat weighs about 140-180 pounds, whereas a female Jersey cow can weigh between 800 and 1000 pounds and a female Holstein can weigh 1300 pounds. This smaller size makes them easier and safer to handle. This is very important since my children are involved with the milking animals. It also makes them easier to transport if you need to take them to the vet or to be bred.

Dairy goats are easier to get bred. Have you ever been around a bull? They can be scary and dangerous. Not something that I wanted to deal with, and definitely not something I wanted my young children around. It requires a trailer (which we don’t have) to bring a cow to another farm for breeding. Bucks (male goat) are much safer to handle (although you still need to be careful) and goats can be transported in a car or truck and don’t require a trailer.

Dairy goats require less land and are easier on the pasture. Because they are smaller in size, they don’t need as much land to feed them. They are also able to thrive on weedy pastures and wooded areas. Their smaller body and hoof sizes also mean that they don’t do as much damage to the ground.

Dairy goats have more kids and can have them at a younger age. It takes two years before a dairy cow can have her first calf. That’s a lot of feed and care before you get any milk. A properly raised dairy goat can have her first kids when she is just one year old. And because goats tend to have multiple kids with each gestation, the herd can grow much faster and produce more offspring for sale.

Dairy goats cost less than dairy cows. Your initial investment is less which is always a good thing. And if you raise animals for long, you’re going to eventually lose some. It always hurts emotionally to lose an animal, but the financial impact is less when you lose a goat over a cow.

Dairy goats are more efficient than dairy cows at making milk. You’ll get less total milk from a dairy goat (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on your needs), but the goat will be more efficient at converting feed to milk than a cow.

Dairy goats are cleaner than cows. Cows are much more likely to poop during milking than goats. Which wouldn’t be so bad except that a cow patty splatters, which is gross. Especially when compared to goat manure which is little round balls that are easily swept up.

Those are the main reasons why we rationally chose goats over cows. The irrational reason is that there is nothing cuter and more playful than baby goats. Baby cows simply can’t compare. If I’m going to put time, money, and energy into raising animals, it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy and play with baby animals that are adorable.

I will admit that there are times that I miss the cream that separated off of my Jersey cow’s milk. But as I’ll talk about another time, part of what makes goat milk healthier for you than cow milk is the fact that the cream doesn’t separate.

Those are the reasons we choose to raise dairy goats. There are other homesteaders who prefer to raise cows. I’m glad that we were able to try both animals to determine from personal experience that dairy goats are the right animal for us.

What about you?  Do you have any experience with either animal or have a preference?


Are Your Soaps Gluten Free?

I’ve been getting asked a lot lately the question, “Are your soaps gluten free?”

The simple answer is, “Yes, they are.”

We do not use any ingredients in our soaps that are known to have gluten in them or are derived from items that contain gluten. We have two soaps (purity scrub and OMH scrub) that have chopped-up rolled oats in them.

Rolled oats (which do not contain gluten) are sometimes rolled in wheat flour to keep them from sticking together. Because of this, several years ago we switched to using certified gluten free oats in our facility so there is no need to worry about cross-contamination.

Many people question whether or not it is silly to worry about gluten in your body care products.  For most people, it is not an issue.  But for those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is a matter of playing it “better safe than sorry”.

Most doctors will tell you that it is only an issue if you ingest the wheat and that it can’t be absorbed through your skin. But there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that when those with celiac use gluten-containing products on their skin, it still causes them to have a reaction.

Most of the gluten containing ingredients in body care products like soap and shampoo do not sound like they contain gluten.  Chemicals that we would never use (such as stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl) can be tricky because they are actually made from wheat proteins or other items that do contain gluten.

I have a good friend whose daughter was diagnosed as a toddler with celiac’s disease. She has been able to use our soaps without ever having an issue. So if you or a loved one have celiac disease and wish to completely avoid gluten, our goat milk soaps, shampoo bars, and deodorants are a safe alternative.

If gluten is a problem for you, do you avoid it in your bath and body items?