Sheeps' Milk and Cheese as an Alternative to Cows Milk

How to enjoy Milk and Cheese again - without the painful reaction to Cows milk

Helen Tozer - April 2009

Have you tried Sheep's milk, sheep's cheese or sheep's ice cream?

My severe reaction to cows milk means that I have to avoid it, in all its forms.

In the early days of my crohn's disease I really missed having milk in my diet, especially milky coffee, hot chocolate and cheese on toast!

At the same time, because I was avoiding cows milk and cheeses, I felt that I wasn't getting my usual source of calcium.

As my crohn's got better, I was more able to try different foods in isolation. I needed to find alternatives to foods that I had come to love, but didn't love me. I became more adventurous in my eating and would try things that previously I would turn up my nose to.

Sheep's Milk as an Alternative to Cows Milk and Cheese

While on this subject, I recently read an article about the harmful effects of cows milk and came across this paragraph from the No To Milk website:

Mycobacterium paratuberculosis causes a bovine disease called "Johne's."
Cows diagnosed with Johne's Disease have diarrhea, and heavy fecal shedding of bacteria. This bacteria becomes cultured in milk, and is not destroyed by pasteurization. Occasionally, the milk-borne bacteria will begin to grow in the human host, and the results are irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's Disease.

Scary stuff, and if you study the reports and evidence about the un-natural effects of cows milk on human systems, you might begin to understand why so many of us react so badly to it.

Not only do I have problems with cows milk, but my children do too. All of my children have eczema, and if they have cows milk, or its by-products, it produces big flare-ups on their skin. They avoid it at all costs and rely on sheep's milk products as well as soya milk to flavour their foods.

Sheeps' Milk and Cheese Did Not Affect My Crohn's

Originally I tried goats milk as an alternative but I found the taste difficult to get used to, and it still caused a mild reaction in me, so I had to stop using it.

One day I read an article in a natural health magazine that was promoting the benefits of sheep's milk for those who suffered an allergic reaction to cows milk. Many people who cannot tolerate cow’s milk products find that they have no problems with products made with sheep milk.

The best known sheep milk products are Greek yoghurt and Feta cheese. Also well known is French Roquefort cheese, Italian Pecorino and Ricotta, and Spanish Manchego cheese. All of these cheeses are now readily available in most supermarkets and delicatessens. My favourite cheese - Manchego!

Be careful though, not all of the Greek Feta products are made from 100% sheep's milk; some are made from cows milk and some with added goats milk. If you react badly to cows milk or goats milk then you will need to avoid these products. It always pays to read the labels!

Sheep milk is the most nutritious milk available for sale in the shops. It typically has a fat content double that of either cows or goats milk and has a high percentage of small fat globules, making is easier to digest.

Sheep milk is a very concentrated food with a very high vitamin and mineral content. Many dieticians now recommend sheep milk as a healthy and nutritious alternative to cows milk.

When I buy sheep's milk I buy enough to last several weeks and put it in the freezer. When it's thawed out it tastes just as good as fresh.

If you haven't tried it yet then I suggest you search it out - it makes a lovely treat, just when you fancy it.

Now I can enjoy my milky coffee and hot chocolate again - so could you!

Sheep Dairy Links

Here are a few links to web sites that can help in your search for sheep's milk products.

A list of Sheep Dairy products in the UK, courtesy of the British Sheep Dairying Association.

Sheep Ice Cream

For a delicious ice cream treat in the UK and a comparative analysis of Sheep, Goat and Cow milks visit
Shepherds Ice Cream from Hereford.


The Cheese Shed

The Provender

Shepherds Purse

Swaledale Cheese Company

Middle Campscott Farm

The Fine Cheese Co

Delicioso UK supplier of Manchego cheese from Spain


Eskley Sheep Milk Supplies 

Woodlands Park is a major supplier of yoghurt and sheep milk powder to supermarkets in the UK.



Read the famous Milk Letter and then decide for yourself.

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