asked the Minister of Food if he will give an estimate of the quantity of surplus skimmed milk disposed of as waste in the years 1952, 1953 and to the nearest convenient date in 1954.
About 18,000, 211,000 and 425,000 gallons respectively.
Would it not be a far better policy, instead of wasting this valuable food by throwing it down disused mineshafts, to give it free of cost to milk distributors, who would, I think, gladly bottle it and offer it for sale to consumers?
That is a difficult problem. The skimmed milk in surplus, which amounts to one-third of 1 per cent. of the total supply of skimmed milk, is in the hands of the manufacturers. They do their utmost in time of flush to convert it into powder or dispose of it for food on farms, but this is a difficult problem which recurs whenever there is a milk flush of substantial size.
Is my hon. Friend aware that very good skimmed milk cheese can be made—Dorset Blue Viney? If the manufacture of that cheese was encouraged I am sure that it would have a large sale among people who are afraid of getting too fat, because it contains no fat.
I am sure that manufacturers are aware of the possibilities of converting this milk into cheese, but I note my hon. Friend's point.
Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider the matter and see whether there is not a possible way of putting this waste milk to good use?
I am as concerned as the hon. Gentleman is about this, but this is a very difficult problem for a short period of each year.