Due to climate change, rising manufacturer demand, and a rapidly spreading, invasive strain of bacterium, the National Council of Nutritional Yeast Cultivators (NCNYC) announced this week a global shortage of nutritional yeast that would, by its estimates, “leave us with only enough raw material to make nutritional yeast through the end of this year.” The organization, which represents nutritional yeast farmers, harvesters, traders, experts, historians, and exporters, said a threat of a shortage of the popular vegetarian-diet staple has loomed for the past few years due to volatile weather patterns that are inhibiting growth of the fragile nutritioniis yeasticarius plant from which nutritional yeast is harvested. However, a new bacterium named E. sum mendacium, which seeks and destroys the reproductive capabilities of the plant, has “effectively killed” the NCNYC’s efforts to rebound. “The first strain of bacteria appeared in a California nutritional yeast farmer’s crop in the latter half of last year,” NCNYC’s Vice President of Public Affairs Nolan Yee said. “It’s completely embarrassing, but we need to be upfront with consumers who are going to be affected by this catastrophe.” With few options left, the NCNYC said it was time to make the public aware of the dire circumstances in order to allow consumers to brace for the extinction of nutritional yeast, which serves as a popular condiment used by vegetarians to top popcorn, sprinkle on pasta, and blend into salad dressings. “We’re looking at maybe another eight to ten months left of resources,” CEO and President Naysha Young said. “And after that, may God help us all.”
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