Today at lunch, along with spinach and sesame salad and noodle soup, they served us chunks of a dark meat in a thick, dark ketchup-based sauce. It looked just like the way they do liver, and tasted almost the same, but was considerably tougher. I'd only gotten about a third of the way through in the allotted 15 minutes for lunch, and was going to throw it out, when one of the students I was eating with asked for its leftovers. (This is not very common.). He explained that it was not liver, but whale.
There is always an announcement over the intercom about what the lunch is, but by the time it came on people had been talking and eating, so I didn't hear. I'd only caught "traditional".
I ran to the staff room to check the ingredients list, and sure enough, "whale" was the first ingredient, followed by sunflower oil, ketchup, starch, miso, and curry powder. (I intend to give you many recipes in the future, but please don't combine all those other ingredients either.)
How can they do this?? To not only kill whales, but to give them to the partially-trained people who make school lunch? To serve them to hundreds of kids who may have no idea of what they're eating? Some of the other teachers also thought it was liver. I ate one of the most endangered animals, and I didn't even know it!
I should know by now that if there's anything you don't want to eat, you have to check everything. When I was vegetarian, I might ask for a tofu salad, or a sliced cucumber, only to find it covered with fish flakes. I might ask for them to avoid those too, only to have them serve me shrimp and clams. There are only a few animals I definitely don't want to eat, and I was sure that they are all so expensive that they would never appear in school lunch, but I was wrong.