Is Argan Oil Made From Goat Poop?

Intriguingly, amidst the arid landscapes of Morocco, a peculiar scene unfolds: agile goats perched on the branches of argan trees. Far from mere spectacle, these acrobatic feats serve a purpose beyond the ordinary. As these goats munch on the fruit of the argan tree, they inadvertently play a vital role in the production of argan oil, one of today's most coveted commodities in both the culinary and beauty industries. Lets delve deeper into this fascinating process.

Varieties and Their Uses

Argan oil is marketed in two forms:

  • Cosmetic Argan Oil: This variant, noted for its bright yellow smoothness, is integral in beauty regimens, enhancing skin and hair health.
  • Culinary Argan Oil: Toasted before bottling, this type enriches various dishes with its rich, nutty flavor, elevating simple recipes to gourmet levels.

Multifaceted Benefits of Argan Oil

  • Skincare and Haircare: Argan oil is a staple in cosmetic products, valued for its ability to moisturise skin, reduce signs of aging, treat acne, and protect against sun damage.
  • Gastronomic Delights: Beyond its beauty benefits, argan oil is a culinary treasure, used to finish dishes and salads or to add a flavorful twist to bread and desserts.

The Role of Goats in Argan Oil Production

The production of argan oil involves an unusual yet natural partnership with local goats. These goats are attracted to the argan fruit's bitter pulp and climb the trees to eat them. The goats consume the fruit but cannot digest the hard nuts, which they then either spit out or expel. These nuts are collected by local harvesters, dried, and cracked open to retrieve the kernels for oil production.


Cultural and Ethical Considerations

Initially, the idea of utilising goat-excreted nuts might seem unappealing. However, this process is similar to other luxury products like certain exotic coffees, which involve the beans being digested by animals. The argan oil extraction method ensures that the kernels remain uncontaminated and pure, allowing this traditional practice to gain acceptance and appreciation globally.

Are there goats in the argan trees in Morocco?

Yes, in Morocco, it's common to see goats skillfully perched on the branches of Argania trees. These argan trees, despite being prickly and thorny, attract goats with their bean-like fruits. The goats climb the trees to feast on these fruits, navigating the challenging terrain for their tasty reward.


Do goats make argan oil?

Some argan oil in Morocco is derived from nuts that have passed through goats. These goats consume the fruit of argan trees and expel the undigested nuts. The oil extracted from these nuts is darker and undergoes an additional cleaning process before being used in beauty products.

In conclusion, the relationship between Moroccan goats and the production of argan oil is a fascinating example of nature's interconnectedness. The goats are drawn to the nutritious fruits of the argan tree, digesting the flesh and leaving the hard nuts behind. This unique method not only aids in the harvesting of argan nuts but also highlights a traditional yet unconventional approach to sourcing ingredients for both culinary and cosmetic argan oil. While the use of goat-digested nuts is less common for commercial products due to additional cleaning requirements, the story adds a remarkable layer to the already rich narrative of argan oil's cultural and economic significance in Morocco.

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