Donkey talks are not very impressive but then, while everyone makes fun of the poor animal, did you know that the animal is pretty, pretty useful? The humble donkey is great for carrying loads all over the place but then, there’s one other place where the animal is of great use too and that is when it comes to food. What food you ask? It’s donkey milk. Donkey’s milk is not easily available but the milk is extremely nutritious and is fed to babies. There are a lot of beliefs surrounding the benefits of donkey’s milk and people are crazy about the nutritious drink, willing to pay up to crazy amounts for just one spoonful!
And a donkey owner in Bengaluru is making the most of this craze! Krishnappa is from Kolar, a region in Bengaluru wns not the chicken laying the golden eggs but a donkey giving gold milk. Well, Lakshmi’s (the donkey) milk is as precious as gold with just one spoonful selling for Rs 50! That’s right. One spoonful for Rs 50. And there are people queuing up to buy the milk for their babies and also for themselves! The milk is particularly popular among those parents with new-born babies as the milk is said to help build immunity for the kids. The milk is said to be as nutritious as mother’s milk and many times replaces mother’s milk too in villages. Even new-born babies are fed one spoon of donkey’s milk along with mother’s milk.
It surely is an extremely lucrative business for donkey owners as it gives them extremely high returns and the demand for the milk never goes down. According to Jayaprakash HM, special officer of dairy sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences: An ass’ milk comes closest to the human milk. It has anti-microbial components such as lysozyme. It is rich in such components and is very good for building immunity.” Krishnappa goes from home to home loudly calling out in the streets and promoting his wares in Kannada. He calls out, “Donkey’s milk! Good for [curing] asthma, cold, cough. Good for children!” People are going crazy buying his milk as it is not everyday they get to buy the drink right on their doorstep. The convenience has also made it more popular among the crowd.
But why aren’t there more sellers? Well, donkey’s milk cannot be harvested commercially as the yield is too low and also, the takers are present but not too many. Also, the demand for the milk might go down if it comes too easily available. Well, sounds completely crazy but is totally true. So, would you drink donkey’s milk? Or rather,w ould you pay Rs 50 for one little spoonful of milk? Is donkey’s milk going to be the next big beverage all over the world after Chai Latte and Turmeric Latte?