Monday, October 23, 2006

In case you hadn't heard, the United States has apparently banned vegemite, a yeast extract which is extraordinarily (one might even say unreasonably) popular in Australia. This appears to have happened six months ago. Recently, however, US Customs has apparently started interrogating travelers with Australian passports at the border to ensure that they're not sneaking little jars of salty yeastiness into the country. You see, Vegemite has folate, a vitamin that the FDA already requires to be added to flour and bread product, and which is a major component of the prenatal vitamins that we push so hard on pregnant women (and for good cause). And, apparently that's bad. Getting your folate from a salty yeasty paste instead of from a pill is bad, because if you eat an entire jar at once you'll get so much that you might not notice that you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

I have some vain hope that our customs agents have better things to do than search travelling Aussies to make sure that they're not sneaking any jars of salty yeasty contraband, but apparently not. Then again, Customs put a lot of effort into stopping rogue Beanie Babies in 1998, too. Now if they could just do something about the terrorists...