For the tattered-clothed young men in this remote community, milking a camel’s stubby udders at sunrise is not a novelty, but a daily chore to get milk valued by their tribe for generations.
But camel’s milk, long-cherished by the Cushite people of central Kenya, is now enjoying a renaissance in the capital Nairobi and could, some say, become an internationally coveted health food product worth 10 billion dollars a year. “Camels are better than cows because they can survive when there is drought, but the cows cannot, so I can make a profit even during dry season,” said Halima Hussein, 45, whose 84-strong flock makes her a local camel-mogul.
“I’m going to sell to sell some of my cows to buy more camels,” added Hussein, whose family also owns 120 cows.
Why is camel’s milk going to be huge?
- Scientists in India have recently discovered that camel’s milk is beneficial against a number of diseases, including diabetes.
- On study showed that consuming 2 cups of camel’s milk per day reduced the need for insulin medication by an average of 30% in type 1 diabetes patients.
- Camel’s milk won’t spoil for more than 2 weeks, if kept at 40 degrees F
- Camel’s milk is high in Vitamin C and low in fat it is also more digestible than cow’s milk and suitable for the lactose-intolerant.
Photo by jessamyn.