Just the other day a friend asked me, “Is goat milk dairy-free?” Or, more specifically, “Is goat cheese dairy-free?” My first question to this friend was, “It’s milk, so why would you think it was dairy-free?”
“Well,” she said, “I was in an allergy-friendly store the other day that sells gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free foods and they had pizza that was made with goat cheese.”
Oh! I immediately understood why she was questioning whether goat milk and/or goat cheese was dairy-free. I knew for certain that the short answer was ‘NO’ it is not dairy-free, but I felt the need to give her more of a scientific answer.
NOTE: We had covered this topic in Gluten Free & More some time ago.
Bottom line….goat milk (and goat cheese) IS most certainly a DAIRY product. In fact, all milk from mammals (goat, sheep, camel, donkey, etc.) as well as any/all products derived from milk such as cheese, sour cream and yogurt (to name a few) are dairy products.
So if you are allergic or sensitive to cow’s milk (which is dairy), chances are extremely high you’ll have the same problem with goat milk/goat products. Based on the article I read, most people—over 90 percent— who are allergic to cow’s milk will also react to most of the other mammalian milks. Therefore it’s important to note that anyone with a severe dairy allergy should never try other animal milks except under close medical supervision.
However, since people do have all sorts of different reactions to cow’s milk, from mild to severe, from dairy allergy to lactose intolerance to problems with casein and other sensitivities— and since each type of milk has a slightly different composition— it makes sense that for some people, goat milk might be more tolerable than cow’s milk.