WTF Fun Fact 12707 – The Role Of Goats In Argan Oil

Maybe you’ve heard of argan oil. It’s very trendy in skin and hair products and the oil is quite expensive. It comes from the nuts of Argania trees, which are found in Morocco.

But argan oil isn’t so easily harvested from these nuts. In order to make the oil easier to harvest, you generally have to wait for the nut to pass through the digestive tract of a local mountain goat first. So, yes, what we mean here is that the nuts are eaten by goats, softened by their digestive tracts, pooped out, and THEN gathered by people for creating argan oil.

Of course, there are other ways of harvesting (humans doing the hard work of peeling them) and you’ll find many companies insisting that their argan oil comes from goat-free nuts. In those cases, the goats end up being a nuisance (and all because people are squeamish).

But frankly, it’s hard to know for sure how the nuts get into human hands. And it doesn’t really matter since the oil has no traces of goat poop in it by the time it gets to you.

The other fascinating thing about the mountain goats that helped launch the argan oil industry is that they became talented tree climbers precisely because the Argania trees bear fruit. There’s not much fruit on the ground in Morocco for goats, especially in summer. Once the goats eat all the low-hanging fruit, they have no other choice than to head upward.

While there are other goats around the world that climb trees, many of the pictures we see of multiple goats in trees are probably Moroccan mountain goats getting their fruity dinners.

And because they’re goats, they end up eating the nuts as well. Since they can’t digest those, the nuts end up on the ground later on (via poop mostly, but some goats will spit them out after trying to chew them). – WTF fun facts

Source: “Tree goats” — CBS News