One hump or two? Feisty camels might have a bad rap, but their milk is low in fat, and full of vitamin C and iron. The next thing to hit Whole Foods?
A staple of their diet, along with dates, camel milk has long provided Bedouins with the proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins necessary to survive a desert-dwelling existence.
And unlike cow’s milk, which creates allergies in many consumers, camel milk is blessedly allergen free. Camelicious bottles this humped concoction in different flavors and sizes that are available at supermarkets throughout Dubai.
1. The healthier choice:
Considered to be the closest substitute for mother’s milk, camel milk is not only low in fat and full of vitamin C, but it doesn’t curdle in the stomach. Therefore, it’s easy for the body to process it.
2. The Bedouins swear by it:
Travel to any Bedouin home, and you’re likely to find a camel nearby. After giving birth, mama camel can easily produce 5 liters of milk a day, though friendly coercion and good diet can stimulate more production. The Bedouins insist on the milk’s holistic properties, as indeed, it was used as a moisturizer and sunscreen as well as food. The Bedouin have plenty of health hacks. Find lots more here.
3. Free range:
The Emirates Industry for Camel Milk And Products (EICMP) Have Diversified Camel Stock, which is relatively free range.
No business in their right profit mind would admit to dodgy conditions for their animals, but the company Camelicious claims that their animals are happy and healthy. In addition, the camels bred for milk are interbred with camels from Pakistan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, producing a superior genetic strain.
4. Camel milking is potentially more humane:
Camels are typically milked for 12-16 months after giving birth, before they are encouraged to breed again; the equipment used to milk them is designed to be safe for their udders and to avoid mastitis – a common condition among dairy cows.
5. Camel milk tastes good too!
Free of cow’s allergens, and milder than goat’s milk, camel milk just might be the perfect compromise. It’s not too sweet, and drinking it won’t cause an upset stomach either.
6. No chemicals added:
With 5 times the amount of Vitamin C in camel’s milk, and full of iron, camel’s milk needs no nutritional help. It has a shelf life of 5 days before pasteurization, after which it will survive for up to 3 weeks. Camel’s milk is just as versatile as other milk, used as it is to produce low-fat varieties of cheese, chocolate, and a fermented delicacy that is used in areas that lack refrigeration.
So, put away your carton of steroid-infused cow’s milk and genetically modified soy, and find yourself a liter of choco-camel milk instead. That is, for those who observe Ramadan, after the sun has set.
:: above image via Woods Hole
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