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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vegemite crackdown

Breaking news: Metroblogging Melbourne blows the lid off the Vegemite jar and gets to the truth beneath the goo.
Scroll for update!


The food police are at it: now there's a Vegemite crackdown. The Aussies are upset, with good reason.

Vegemite crackdown fears roil expats
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has long prohibited imports of Vegemite because it contains folate, a B vitamin approved as an additive for just a few foods, including breakfast cereals.
Now, with all the problems in the world, just how much busywork can the FDA be needing to make that they have to take on Vegemite? How many people in the USA even know what the hey Vegemite is, let alone use eat it?

I mean, I found out about Vegemite the first time I was in London and two of the people at the B&B where I was staying asked me if I wanted to go to Australia House with them. After we got back from Australia House, the landlady of the B&B told us about Marmite. That means I had to travel some 3,500 miles to even hear about the product.

TigerHawk posted on The outrageous ban on Vegemite and asks,
But searching Australian tourists for Vegemite? How is it we can profile Aussies for Vegemite and not young Muslim men for box cutters?
Now, I'm allergic to soy and all soy products and I use Vegemite or Marmite to flavor my stir-fry so it has the salty taste and the color (the rest of the family uses the usual, soy sauce). Apparently Marmite will be banned, too.

I better get to Wegmans and stock up.

(make sure to click on the jar)


Here's the food police video for your enjoyment:


PS Does anyone know how to photoshop one of those red circles with a diagonal on to the jar?

Update
Thank you, SmadaNek! Ken sent the photshop.

Faced with the imminent ban on Marmite, I went to the store and got some:
Life is good.

As the friends who took me to Australia House said, "that stuff will cover the taste of anything!". Maybe they went to the same school as the guy who said, "Imagine a world where institutional cooking was saved by vegemite!"

UPDATE 2
Metroblogging Melbourne uncovers the truth under the goo:
Vegemite ban or cheap shot at the US?

But the big question is will you get stopped for taking in Vegemite into the US? Apparently, out of all the articles reporting this story, only one person has been stopped at the Canadian border. Not anywhere else on the web have I seen an account of someone getting stopped for this Vegemite folate madness. In fact, I have been through the U.S. with Vegemite in hand with no problems.

So why is this story so big? Well, it's the Today Tonight / ACA phenomenon where we take a small story and make it huge. A guy from Geelong got stopped for having Vegemite while crossing the Canadian/U.S. border. Danny Lannen writes a story that relates to Geelong in an odd story. Kevin Healey from The Courier Mail sees this story and decides to rewrite it and make it a big story in the Sunday paper. News.com.au publishes his story online, which is picked up by everyone including all the news outlets.

If you have ever watched Border Security, they often find people confiscating foods from their respective countries so why does an unsubstantiated story of banning Vegemite make such waves.

Aussies tend to poke fun at other countries, which is generally tolerable when talking about cricket or rugby. We have to condemn the Crounola riots and we have to be sensitive to the Lebanese community. Making fun of Asians or black people is not acceptable. But when it comes to slagging off the U.S., its acceptable. Even The Age had a cartoon today depicting an Osama Bin Laden sign next to a Vegemite Kid sign. Is it funny comparing a mass murderer to someone who possesses Vegemite? This story is a poor excuse to find another reason to hate the U.S. Whether it's a fight over women on a beach or a fight over Vegemite, it shows that there will never be harmony between races or nationalities here. The media will continue to push its agenda whether for political reasons or for monetary benefit.

Sorry for the rant and I hope it makes sense. What say you?

I say I'm prepared!


More rich gooeyness: vegemite on a toasted English muffin as the first food item of the day when hangover recovery was job #1 was the perfect food.

vegemite - more dangerous than a dirty bomb? Or is the dirty bomb better tasting?

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