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The Marmite Theory

March 7, 2011

MarmiteAs I have been trying to get used to the taste of Marmite in my mouth, I’ve also been thinking, “how could anyone like this?!”. I think the answer is due to a process, which I have called ‘The Marmite Theory’ or TMT. And this is it:

A person shall like Marmite if at least one of the following statements are true:

at least one other family member will like Marmite;

Marmite was fed to the person as a child (probably against their will);

the person has embarked on a significantly difficult and lengthy process of learning to love Marmite;

the person is lying and hates Marmite, claiming to like it makes them feel cool.

TMT encompasses all reasons for somebody liking Marmite. I think the first two statements are linked, and the family member will usually be a parent who has the terrible memories of being force fed Marmite as a child. Thinking, “I went through this so you should too”, the parent force feeds the child Marmite. The last two statements are likely to be rare causes for a liking to Marmite, not many people will put in the effort to try to like something they hate, and loving Marmite is not cool.

What I ate today…

8:20– golden nuggets
13:00– hot nuts and supernoodles
13:30– banana
17:00– more hot nuts and a caramel bar
18:10- Salt and vinegar pringles
19:20- Chilli with rice

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Lor permalink
    March 8, 2011 2:06 pm

    Your observations are interesting but very flawed I’m afraid, as you’ve skewed your analysis towards cultural, societal or environmental factors. Don’t forget that everything we do is driven by our DNA…

    If you go back hundreds of thousands of years, towards when the first primordial sludge appeared on the Earth, the sludge was dark brown and without form. It was a mass of highly viscous brown matter, that probably smelled awful and tasted even worse. Out of this sludge appeared the earliest lifeforms with their primitive DNA molecules – their only goal to keep their species alive and procreate. They consumed the primordial sludge as it provided them with sustenance and more building blocks to evolve their DNA structures.

    Over time, these primitive lifeforms developed a strong affinity for the sludge (call it an early form of “religion” almost) and the “Sludgites” believed that the sludge provided them with everything they would need to survive. Other lifeforms (call them early “aethists” if you will) did not believe all this “sludge is all powerful” malarky and rejected the sludge and went to live away from the sludge in small communes near what is today called Essex.

    However, some catastrophic calamity hit the Earth (maybe a meteor, comet collision or a Mesapotamic form of the X-Factor) and the only lifeforms to survive in great numbers were the Sludgites, as they could crawl back into the primordial sludge for cover. Thus, their religion was reinforced, “only those who believe in and worship the all powerful sludge will gain its favour”!

    Now move the arrow of time forward from those primitive Sludgites to today and you can start to see what’s going on. The DNA remembers the power of the primordial sludge and drives its host to locate a viable source (N.B. evidence that such a thing as DNA memory exists is well founded see

    But of course, the primordial sludge is sadly now all gone, but the DNA can easily be fooled by something very similar… and I think you know where this is going if I could be bothered to write any more? Also remember the goal of those early DNA lifeforms: “to keep their species alive and procreate”. This probably explains the perceived aphrodisiac effects of Marmite XO… Thus a question “Is there any Sludgite DNA in your family?” would be another useful one to add to the TMT set…

    • March 9, 2011 1:28 pm

      Sorry I’ve taken a day to respond, I’ve only just finished reading this tale of evolution and sludge eating. Marmite fits the bill, and because you’ve taken the time to write an essay, I will include this in TMT in it’s own area called Lor’s Law.

  2. May 18, 2011 12:54 pm

    Lors almost has a point, there is stuff in your DNA that dictates how you taste some foods, most notably the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene which gives people the ability to taste phenylthiocarbomide, and is related to (but does not fully explain) being a ‘supertaster’. This got me thinking, if you are a supertaster would you genetically predisposed to HATE Marmite? So during a few science shows this year we at IFR do a ‘Taste and Flavour’ display we tested my theory. We tested 1,500 people for their ability to taste PTC, divided them into non-tasters, tasters and supertasters, then asked them if they were Marmite lovers or haters. And you know what? It makes no difference what ever in any direction!

    At some point soon we’ll put the full findings on the IFR website.

  3. May 18, 2011 4:53 pm

    Dave, that sounds like some very interesting research, did you anything else after the hate/love marmite question?

    I would love to see this research though, can you let me know if you put it up.


  1. Lor’s Law- Extension #1 of TMT « One Chicken Nugget

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