Synonymous with Australia, Vegemite is a tasty yeast-enriched sandwich spread, but the Marmite substitute is causing problems these days as people are using it to make booze.
The Washington Post reports that production of the spread was started back in 1923 as a substitute for the popular Marmite spread and now Vegemite and Australia are two words that simply go together. The Aussies love the stuff.
The yeast-based product is chockful of the B-Vitamins and is considered to be a healthy and tasty part of the Australian diet, although some foreigners find the stuff awful, up to and apparently including US President Barack Obama.
The product is so popular that in 1981 an Australian rock band called Men at Work included the spread in their song “Down Under,” with a line about a Vegemite sandwich. That song is included at the end of this article for your edification.
However, these days, many people are speaking out against Vegemite for the simple reason that some have found a way to distill the tasty spread into a moonshine-type alcohol and it’s having a very bad effect. While some are upset about the notion, others find it amusing.
If they aren’t selling Vegemite beer out of jam jars in Brunswick St before Christmas, hipsters need to take a long look at themselves.
— Yarmehearty (@jonkudelka) August 9, 2015
The questionable alcohol produced from Vegemite is now being blamed for an increase in domestic violence cases, and there have even been reports of children skipping school, simply because they are too hungover to attend classes.
According to the BBC, brewer’s yeast is one of the key components of Vegemite, normally used in the production of beer and ale. Some bright spark found another use for the spread for this reason, and now it is being bought in bulk to make moonshine.
Vegemite is a ‘Precursor to Misery’ in Australia, where people are using it to make moonshine http://t.co/Clxq1sC0xG
— TIME.com (@TIME) August 9, 2015
Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister, Nigel Scullion, is urging some communities to limit the sale of the popular spread, describing the Vegemite moonshine as a “precursor to misery.”
On performing a Google search on the words “Vegemite tastes like,” the results there even include the words “beer” and “sadness.”
Scullion particularly recommends a restriction on sales in areas of Australia where alcohol is already banned due to addiction problems, saying for obvious reasons the problems are even worse there.
“Businesses in these communities have a responsibility to report any purchase that may raise their own suspicions.”
However, Dr John Boffa of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition in Alice Springs told the BBC that the Vegemite moonshine problem is not widespread. He did say there might be a need for some local initiatives but that these should be organized by the communities themselves.
“We’re talking about an isolated problem in a couple of communities around a very large nation, and a nation where there is a very large number of Aboriginal communities, and every community is different.”
According to Buzzfeed, indigenous communities themselves are up in arms about the whole thing, taking to the social media to say that saying the claim demonizes the entire community.
— Allan Clarke (@AllanJClarke) August 10, 2015
It is yet to be seen whether any limits will be put in place and if they are, some Australians may not be happy to have less access to their favorite spread.
In other moonshine news on the Inquisitr, there was a report a while back on how to make moonshine legally, but that option definitely didn’t include any Vegemite spread in the mix.
[Image: CC by 2.0 Petra Bensted]