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Return of Marmite eases drought

Ohinewai farmer Peter Brown hopes that Marmite will help to nourish his starving animals

Ohinewai farmer Peter Brown hopes that Marmite will help to nourish his starving animals

Extreme drought conditions being faced by the country’s North Island are easing today as health food giant Sanitarium re-releases its popular breakfast spread, Marmite.

The spread has been off the shelves since March of last year due to production delays stemming from the Christchurch earthquake, and its reintroduction to stores has been widely anticipated. But none have been so excited about the product’s return as the nation’s farmers, who believe it will help them recover from the worst drought in more than thirty years.

“Today’s reintroduction of Marmite to our supermarkets comes as a very welcome relief” said Federated Farmers President Bruce Wills. “With its low levels of fat and sugar, and its abundance of iron and essential B vitamins, Marmite is the perfect elixir to grow our crops and nourish our animals.”

Rangitikei farmer William Morrison agreed with that sentiment, saying that feeding his livestock with Marmite was substantially better than feeding them normal human food.

“Oh yeah, look, you try to give them something humans would eat like toast or peanut butter, and they just won’t have it” he said. “But Marmite? They love the stuff.”

Farmers throughout the North Island have begun smearing their crops and fields with the popular spread in hopes that it will nourish the soil and provide food for their starving animals.

Ohinewai farmer Peter Brown had ordered a truckload of Marmite to be shipped to his farm overnight, and has already painted his fields black with the substance. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” said Brown. “That land over there used to be completely barren; nothing for our sheep to eat. Now the whole bloody thing is food.”

Asked about one sheep that had keeled over and appeared to be stuck in the Marmite, Brown replied “Oh yeah, don’t worry about him. They’ll do that. That’s just how they enjoy it.”

But while farmers are rejoicing, some are sceptical of the spread’s ability to alleviate the effects of drought. Those sceptics include University of Auckland physicist David Krofcheck, who believes that the use of Marmite on drought-stricken farms could prove dangerous to the wellbeing of some animals.

“Basically what happens inside of the Marmite is that, when it is placed in the hot sun like it has been on that man’s farm, it slowly accumulates heat” he said. “Some of this heat has nuclear properties and this makes it what we call thermonuclear. Basically, at this point, the Marmite is no longer safe for the consumption of animals.”

Asked if it would be safe for the consumption of human beings, Krofcheck replied “No, it would not. I don’t recommend you doing that.”