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Are we really ditching cow's milk in Norfolk for a plant-based alternative?

PUBLISHED: 08:19 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 28 January 2019

Cow's milk or a plant-based alternative? Cleo Rainey from Norwich took part in our taste test. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Cow's milk or a plant-based alternative? Cleo Rainey from Norwich took part in our taste test. Picture: Neil Didsbury

A soya latte? Coconut milk cappuccino? No thanks say the people of Norfolk who, when put to the test, said they were NOT moo-ving over from cow's milk.

Sales of milk ‘made for humans’ from trendy alternatives like soya, coconut and almond may be growing particularly among the younger generation – but in Norfolk, the preference is still for a pint of good old fashioned full fat ‘blue top’ from the cow.

This newspaper asked members of the public their opinion on the kind of milk they drank. All said they preferred cow’s milk and local dairy farmer Jonny Burridge, who drinks two litres a day, said it was the best natural, vitamin-filled product available.

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Despite a huge growing market for ‘trendy’ milks promoted in smoothies and takeway coffees and people being encouraged to cut back on their intake of cow’s milk and become a ‘reducitarian’ it seems the natural product milked from the cow is still Norfolk’s favourite.

Chris Sidell from Wymondham liked the taste of coconut milk during our taste test. Picture: Neil DidsburyChris Sidell from Wymondham liked the taste of coconut milk during our taste test. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The people we spoke to ranging from 18-67 in age all said they drank cow’s milk over alternatives and all could detect which was the real thing when asked to sample different milk including soya, almond and coconut.

Cleo Rainey, 20, from Norwich, said: “I live with students so I’ll have what they’re having. Everyone is having a bad time right now but a hot topic is that the dairy industry is sometimes a bit controversial and the environmental impact is the bigger issue.”

Louisa Scott, 21, from Dereham, said: “I do like soya milk but we have cow’s milk at home so I drink it.”

Chris Sidell, also 18, from Wymondham, said: “I’ve never had almond milk before, I prefer coconut milk but I usually drink cow’s milk.”

Dairy farmer Mr Burridge who produces about two million litres of milk a year from his 236 strong herd at Manor Farm, Fundenhall, said: “I find it a very disappointing attitude to want an alternative to what is a natural product, it has everything in it and all the vitamins you need compared to many of the artificial milks which have iron and vitamins added to them.

“I love my job looking after the girls who are milked voluntarily on robots, when they want to be milked. There is a global stock shortage so I am buoyant about the future because I can see a significant price rise.”

It comes as a recent BBC report found in a survey of 2000 people aged 18-24, a quarter had reduced their consumption of cow’s milk or completely cut it out in the past two years, citing their dislike of animal welfare and the environmental impact as the reason.

"We tend to just have cow's milk in the house, but I do like almond milk too" Louisa Scott from Dereham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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