Would you switch to drinking camel milk? Australia’s growing number of camel farmers are hoping to persuade you. It’s not unusual for the owners of a small, close-knit business to treat their workers as an extension of their family. Of course those members of staff aren’t usually of the four-legged, one-humped variety.
Camel milk production has become one of Australia’s emerging agricultural industries, as demand for the product grows both locally and internationally.
There are now thought to be more than 1.2 million in the wild, which is considered to be the world’s largest feral population. They are mostly the dromedary or Arabian camel, which has one hump, and is the species chosen for milk production. Australia also has a much smaller wild population of the two humped Bactrian camel.
The recent increase in interest in camel milk has been led by consumers seeking the milk’s supposed health benefits. On a nutritional level, camel milk is richer than cow’s milk in vitamin C, vitamin B, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Other properties attributed to camel milk, according to the 2016 Australian Government market assessment, include its “attributed” capacity to “alleviate food and seasonal allergies, usefulness in reducing insulin dependency and the treatment of diabetes, [and] ease of digestion”.