Aprisco La Hortensia – A Tale of Goats
By Dagmar Reinhard
At the farm of Mrs. Gina Morales and family, at the top of the coastal range in the small village of Mollejones de Platanares, we met six of the 60 recognized breeds of goats in the world. The Morales keep the Saanen, Alpine, Nubian, American Spot, Toggenburg, and Boer dairy breeds. To distinguish them, look at the color of the body and face, extremities, the size and inclination of the ears, the coat, and horns.
During the year’s driest season, the goats live in a kind of hotel with several bedrooms and areas where the little ones can play, and the adults practice their jumps and rub their horns. They eat grass all day, and a delicacy for them is green bananas; it shows they are happy. Their owners have named almost all of them and emphasize that the goats are only for milk production. There is a separate milking area, which is very clean and well ventilated.
Mrs. Morales obtained her degree in Cheese and Yogurt with INA (National Learning Institute: “I feel the passion for developing a new product.” Everyone in the family collaborates with the care of the animals. They descend twice a week from the mountain to sell their merchandise: exquisite fresh and mature cheese, cream cheese with spices, and milk, and yogurt. On Thursday, Daniela is always present at the Feria in San Isidro, and delivery day along the Coastal Highway from Dominical – Uvita – Ojochal is Friday.
Mrs. Gina tells us about the benefits of goat’s milk: It has a lower casein content and is hypo-allergenic milk. When it reaches the large intestine, it helps in the development of the probiotic flora. Thanks to its high content of essential fatty acids, it can decrease the total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, reduce elevated transaminases (GOT and GPT) and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
It is a good quality protein because it provides practically all the variety of essential amino acids to our body (3.3 grams per 100 grams of milk)
It is an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium and is ideal for people with anemia and osteoporosis since vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium properly. On the other hand, goat milk can regenerate hemoglobin (in the case of anemia). It also provides reasonable amounts of vitamin A, B2, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The fat content is a bit higher than in cow’s milk; however, thanks to its high amount of coenzyme Q, anti-cancer properties are attributed.
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