Food police targeting Vegemite?

I first heard the term Vegemite near the beginning of the worst decade of music ever, in 1981’s hit, Down Under, by Men at Work.

He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

What’s a Vegemite?

This was the old days – before public access Intertubes and Google and Wikipedia.

I’ve since learned, and wiki confirms, that Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty – somewhat similar to the taste of beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky, much like peanut butter. It is not as intensely flavoured as British Marmite and it is less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite. Fred Walker’s company first created and sold Vegemite in 1922.

The New Zealand Herald reports if the Australian Government has its way, Vegemite could be banished from supermarket shelves because of its high salt content.

A preventive health task force, set up by Canberra to examine ways of tackling Australia’s obesity problem, has canvassed the idea of taxing foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Although its final report is not due until June, the Australian Food and Grocery Council is already warning that Vegemite is under threat.

The Australian online news website Crikey suggested the Vegemite controversy had been cooked up by the industry body as a pre-emptive strike.

Below, a fine example of just how bad popular music became in the 1980s. Oh, and did anyone catch the worst band ever, Journey, performing their 1981 – what a terrible year – power ballad, Don’t Stop Believin’ for Super Bowl tourists as part of the pre-game show in what could only be termed a tune-up for their upcoming State Fair extravaganza? And Springsteen sucked. He usually does.