When reports began to circulate that innovative lower-income Australians were somehow using the yeast spread Vegemite to make moonshine, Aussies everywhere were probably thinking, “now why didn’t I think of that?”Many communities have even banned the savory, dark brown paste in an effort to prevent alcoholism, and one government official, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, called Vegemite “a precursor to misery,” according to Time Magazine. In many indigenous communities, alcohol is already banned due to the high rates of addiction.
However, according to Australian scientists, it may actually be almost impossible to make alcohol from Vegemite, so the rumors could just be unfounded bursts of hysteria.
Making alcohol from the yeast spread is “theoretically plausible but highly unlikely,” Dr. Claudia Vickers told NITV News, an indigenous Australian news station. “By the time the yeast gets into the state that it has become Vegemite, it’s deactivated.”
However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned against a complete ban of the product in these communities, according to ABC News. Abbott said that the last thing he wants is a “Vegemite watch.”