Camel Milk Could Be The New Superfood

There’s always a new type of milk at the grocery store, and new fads in milk alternatives seem to come along almost as frequently as full moons with hype-building names.

Is oat milk still hot? Does pea milk taste like — gulp — peas? (I can confirm that too much pea protein mixed into any drink does make it taste like peas, but I haven’t tried the milk.) And I apologize for this one in advance but I feel obligated to let you know that cockroach milk is a thing.

As the quest for the optimal milk continues, in Africa and the Middle East, many people are sticking with a time-worn tradition instead of the next big thing: camel’s milk. But could camel’s milk become the next big thing in a place like the U.S., where it’s hard to come by?

Maybe, and it certainly has some appeal for those who are looking for nutritionally dense and tasty milk. Compared to cow’s milk, camel milk is higher in vitamin C and iron and lower in lactose.

Getty Images

Compared to plant-based milk alternatives, well, there is no comparison.

“When compared to plant milk, I would say camel milk is nutritionally superior,” registered dietitian Amy Goodson told Shape in their exploration of the pros and cons of camel milk.

“I do truly believe camel milk to be a superfood and more importantly the milk of the future,” Mohamed Jimale, of Sweden-based startup Agrikaab, which invests in locally produced foods in Africa, told Quartz.

The thing is, camel milk is not cheap, which isn’t surprising, and it’s considered a specialty product for the U.S.-based Desert Farms, which was started by a Saudi businessman who works with Amish and Mennonite farmers. They’re one of the few camel-milk providers in the U.S., and they sell a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles of frozen camel milk for $108. That’s $18 a pint.

milk photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

But the industry does seem to be growing around the world. In fact, some ranchers and farmers in Australia have started camel dairies that are solving two problems at the same time: They’re meeting a growing demand for camel milk in Asia, and they’re pulling feral camels out of the Outback — where they’re an invasive species — and into their farms.

So, what does camel milk taste like? A Washington Post reporter tried camel milk and noted that it’s similar to bovine milk but is a bit saltier and lighter. She even dunked a cookie in it and declared it good.

Would you try camel milk?