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Food and Drink

A Guide to Camel Milk

Camel milk is causing ripples in the alternative milk market. If you are curious about its health benefits, environmental impact and more, then our guide is for you. Read on to find out all you need to know about camel milk.
A glass jar being filled with camel milk against a white background.

Camel milk is making a big splash as the latest potential alternative to cow’s milk. It is becoming more readily available in many countries and some are suggesting it could become a new staple in modern diets. If camel milk is new to your radar, you may have some questions. What is camel milk? Is it sustainable? What does it taste like? The One Edit is here to get to the bottom of this latest trend. Read our helpful guide to learn everything you need to know about this alternative milk.  

Table of Contents:

What is Camel Milk?

Camel milk is one of the latest cow's milk alternatives. As awareness grows about the negative environmental impacts of cow milk production, eco-conscious people are looking for more sustainable alternatives. Camel milk is one of the options being tried. It is thought to be very nutritional but with a smaller cost to the planet.  

Camel milk has been drunk by humans for centuries, primarily by nomadic Bedouin cultures. It is now being adopted more widely by those who recognise its health benefits and environmental advantages. The industry is growing largely in Australia and America with brands like Camel Milk Co & Good Earth Dairy down under, and Desert Farms in the USA selling online direct to consumer. 

What Does Camel Milk Taste Like?

Camel milk tastes very similar to cow’s milk but with a distinctive salty edge. It is thick, full bodied and creamy. The flavour of camel’s milk can vary slightly depending on where the camel comes from. Whilst American camel milk is said to be more smooth and sweet, Middle Eastern versions are thought to be almost nutty in flavour. In general, camel milk is described as having a taste which you have to get used to but once you do, you’ll find it delicious.

A photo of a slightly smiling camel in the desert.

What Does Camel Milk Smell Like?

Camels are considered very smelly animals but you will be happy to hear that camel milk does not smell bad. It has a slightly animal smell without being as pungent as goat's milk. If you have never smelt it before, you might detect an earthy aroma.

Is Camel Milk Healthier than Cow Milk?

In terms of nutritional value, camel milk rivals cow milk. In fact, camel milk is considered to be so healthy that charities such as Action on Poverty are supporting vulnerable families to beat malnutrition by providing them with camel milk. These are some of the main nutritional benefits:

  • Camel milk contains up to 5 times more Vitamin C than cow milk - Our bodies can’t produce their own Vitamin C so we need to consume it. Vitamin C helps form blood vessels and boost immunity.
  • Camel milk contains up to 2 times more Calcium than cow milk - Calcium is important for growing healthy bones and teeth as well as helping blood to clot properly. 
  • Camel milk is rich in Lactoferrin - Lactoferrin is a protein which can help regulate iron absorption in the body. It is also antibacterial and great for gut health.
  • Camel milk is low in lactose - this means that people with a lactose intolerance are less likely to react badly to camel milk than cows milk.
  • Camel milk contains about half the amount of saturated fat as cow milk - saturated fats can raise the level of “bad” cholesterol. 
  • Camel milk could help ease autism spectrum disorder - A few studies have linked camel milk with easing symptoms of autism. Investigations are still ongoing but results seem positive.
  • Camel milk could help manage diabetes - A 2015 medical study found that camel milk reduced the severity of diabetes in 20 patients. It is thought that it contains insulin-like proteins which help regulate blood sugar levels. Camel milk also contains zinc which may help improve insulin sensitivity. Cow milk does not seem to have the same effect. Find out more information on how camel milk may help diabetes.

Three camels roaming around a farm which produces camel milk

Is Camel Milk Environmentally Friendly?

If you are looking for an eco-friendly milk to splash into your morning coffee, camel milk could be worth trying. Although it is not a plant based milk, camel milk is still considered to be a sustainable milk alternative. Here are some of the main reasons why it is considered better for the environment:

  • Camels are not ruminant animals like cows. This means they do not produce vast amounts of methane. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases linked to global warming. 
  • Camels produce dry manure which can be burnt and used as a biofuel. In comparison, cows produce 120 pounds of wet manure per day which can lead to water contamination.
  • A camel requires less feed to produce the same amount of milk as a cow. This means that less resources and less energy are used to produce camel milk than cow milk. 

Switching from cow milk to camel milk is a small change you could make to reduce your environmental impact. 

Disadvantages of Camel Milk

Camel milk is being called the new superfood. However, there are some downsides. 

  • Camel milk is not vegan - There is a fear that if camel milk continues to gain popularity, intensification of the production process could result in animal cruelty
  • Camel milk is expensive - Camel milk can cost about 12 times more than cow milk. The main reason why camel milk is more expensive is because there are much fewer camel farms than cattle farms. For example, the ratio of camels to cows in the U.S. is 1 to 18,000. This means that demand far outweighs supply.

Which Brand is Best for Camel Milk?

It is hard to say which brand is best for camel milk. Plenty of brands are bringing camel milk to customers in creative and innovative ways. If you are interested in trying dried camel milk powder, we suggest HYE’s camel milk range. Another great brand you could try is Desert Farm’s camel milk. Or next time there is a hot day, why not swap your ethical coffee for one of Tribal Milk’s camel milk iced lattes?

Camel Milk for the Future?

Our shopping habits have an effect on the planet and the people who populate it. The One Edit’s goal is to provide you with unbiased information so you can make informed decisions the next time you buy something new. From camel milk to sustainable candles and fast fashion alternatives, every purchase counts. 

Do you know any camel milk brands we should know about? Let us know!