Sometimes it feels like there are more types of milk out there than we know what to do with. You obviously know about cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, and goat’s milk. These days even donkey milk, llama milk, and yak milk are a thing. But what about moose milk?
Moose milk – and we’re not talking about the signature Canadian cocktail that’s basically a boozy milkshake – is exactly what it sounds like: milk produced by moose. It’s a rare product that’s not widely available, and it’s believed to be one of the healthiest milks that exists in the world today.
What does moose milk taste like?
Moose milk has a thicker, heavier, and creamier consistency than cow’s milk. It’s known to be pine-scented and slightly acidic, with a very unique taste. Since it contains more natural fat and sugar than cow’s milk, moose milk is richer and sweeter than the milk we’re used to. Some describe its flavor as nutty, gamey, or even slightly woody. It certainly sounds like an acquired taste, but something worth sipping on thanks to its rich nutritional profile.
Moose milk nutrition and health benefits
Moose milk is high in butterfat at around 10%, which is double the average fat content in cow’s milk, and it has a very high concentration of milk solids at over 20%. Its rich protein and fat content make it extremely nutritious.
Moose milk contains twice the amount of essential amino acids as cow’s milk. It’s also very high in iron, selenium, zinc, and phosphorous, and a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.
With such a bounty of so many essential nutrients, the health benefits of moose milk are aplenty. From antioxidant properties that help protect cell damage, to healthy bones, blood cells, and brain function, to boosting the immune system, moose milk is a nutritional powerhouse that can do the body good.
It’s particularly known for its ability to fight and prevent gastrointestinal disease, and contains an enzyme that kills off ulcer-creating bacteria which makes it a reliable cure for peptic ulcers. Lastly, it’s low in lactose and because it contains smaller fat globules it’s believed to be easier to digest than cow’s milk.
Where (and how) is moose milk consumed?
It may not be much of a thing here in America, but moose milk is actually commercialized in certain countries. Obviously any moose, anywhere in the world, produces milk – but only Russia, Canada, and parts of Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, and Norway) have milked their moose and produced it for sale. These are mostly the only parts of the world where humans consume the milk.
In Russia, there are moose farms where they don’t just produce moose milk for consumption, but also for medicinal purposes; one sanatorium has given moose milk to patients for over 30 years to treat gastrointestinal disorders and an array of other diseases.
In Sweden, one farm milks moose to make moose cheese – feta moose cheese, blue moose cheese, and white-mold moose cheese – rare delicacies that sell for nearly $500 per pound.
Why it’s so hard to get your hands on moose milk
Moose milking is no easy task because these are very big, somewhat unpredictable animals. While moose can be tame, they’re also wild and powerful. It can take up to two hours to milk two liters from a moose, and during that time the moose cannot be disturbed or it’ll stop milking.
Female moose also don’t produce a lot of milk – they can only be milked for about 5 months of the year, and they only produce around 1 to 6 liters per day (as opposed to a cow’s 6 to 7 gallons a day). So as you can imagine, the production volume is very small; as a result, this rare milk tends to cost a pretty penny.
Moose milk is nearly impossible to find in the US; it’s a rare milk that’s commercially produced in some areas of Russia, Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Finland.
Moose milk is believed to be one of the healthiest types of animal milks thanks to its rich nutritional profile. Compared to cow’s milk, moose milk has double the amount of essential amino acids, more protein and fat content, lower lactose, and is higher in minerals and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
A female moose typically produces between one and six liters of milk per day. Compared to cows, which can produce six to seven gallons per day, this is a very small production.