Healthy splurges: farm-fresh goat-milk lattes

Reprinted from Food and Wine Magazine, March 2011

Coffee Bars might want to skip the $20,000 machines and buy a goat, says Dr. Daphne Miller.

It’s 7 a.m., milking time on Shining Moon Ranch in Boonville, California. Farmer Micki Colfax hands me a mug of dark-roast coffee and leads me to the goat shed where her Mendocino Grand champ, Sine Qua Non, is having its own breakfast. I’ve traveled the globe researching the world’s healthiest diets, and I’ve come to believe there are lessons we can learn right at home on local farms. I’m at the ranch because I feel that Micki (and her goats) might offer insight. Research shows that children raised on sustainable farms have fewer allergies and upper-respiratory infections than kids who grow up in a city. Micki herself has four hardy sons. I wonder, is it the sun? The fresh air? The exposure to animals? The milk they drink? All of the above? Now Micki puts my mug near one of Sine Qua Non’s teats. Two squirts and a luxurious foam rises to the brim—an instant latte. I sip. The scientist in me contemplates the milk’s medicinal qualities: lactoferrin, a powerful immune booster in the whey, and oligosaccharides, food for the infection-fighting healthy bacteria in our gut. But the gastronome in me just smiles: a rich, silky latte sine qua non. It makes me wonder: Shouldn’t every coffee bar have its own goat?

Reprint from Food and Wine’s Trendspotting: Healthy Splurges by Jen Murphy & Chelsea Morse.