How much is inside Vegemite?

You probably first heard of Vegemite on the radio, when Men at Work's Colin Hay sang about being handed a sandwich in Brussels. From that moment, it has haunted you...what the hell was Vegemite? Was it vegetables? Was it mites? Was it some combination of the two? 

When the internet was invented in May of 2001, I was finally able to find out.

Vegemite is a highly concentrated super-food.

Created in Australia, laboratory tests showed Vegemite to have 600% more vitamins than any other substance on earth, by volume. 

It is, in fact, so powerful that only the mighty Australians can handle its awesome nutritional force:

  • Australian Astronauts are given jars of Vegemite to survive winter in the lonely vacuum of space.
  • Roman General Russell Crowe enjoys eating Vegemite on toast.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Hero Mel Gibson has a horseshoe kidney.
  • Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin uses Vegemite to temper his venom-rich blood.
  • Phar Lap won 37 of the 51 races in which he started, including fourteen in a row in 1930-31.
  • Olivia Newton-John's biggest hit was "Physical" which spent 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100. This amazing "Physical" stamina was largely attributable to Vegemite. She was also in this great musical, but I forget the name.

Scott Eiby at Central Queensland University sent me a jar of Vegemite, so Mike, Jane and I decided to see how far it would spread onto bread.

Scott warned me to spread it thinly because it is very salty.

Yeah, thin, right, got it.

Opening the jar, a strong smell not unlike soy sauce confronted me. I was not looking forward to the "eating" part of the experiment.

Mike, Jane and I started a-spreading.

The look of Vegemite is hard to looks a bit like chocolate spread... but it is very shiny...

Oh yeah! Grease! Olivia Newton-John also starred in Grease!

We were quickly using up the 235 gram jar of Vegemite. We reminded one another to spread it thinly, as Scott had warned.

In just a few minutes, we were done. 26 slices of bread covered with brown spread.

We stared at each other for a few minutes. Who would be the first to taste one?

Putting off the inevitable, we checked the "serving size" on the Vegemite label: 5 grams.

We did a quick calculation: The tiny jar is designed to cover 47 pieces of bread, almost twice the number we had covered! What if we cut the bread into halves? There! 5 grams per serving!

If you use 130 cm² slices of bread like I do, you should spread Vegemite just 0.28 mm thick across the surface of the bread. Paul Hogan can do it with a machete, so quit complaining.

Five grams per serving is TINY. Horseradish suggests 5.5 grams per serving, just to give you an idea. 

A typical sandwich spread like Skippy Peanut Butter suggests using 32 grams. Land O'Lakes Butter suggests using 14 grams.

In fact, the only products I could find that suggest using as little as 5 grams were mustard and Sriracha Chili Sauce.

The absolute smallest serving size I found was on a tin of powdered LSD (50 micrograms).

Please read page two of How Much is Inside Vegemite.

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Last updated Sept. 23, 2002.

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