While kangaroo meat may be a regular diet staple for many here in Australia it seems the rest of the world isn’t so keen, as parents in the United States slammed their children’s’ school after they served up the red meat in a chilli dish at lunch time.
Staff at Potter-Dix School in Nebraska decided to add the lean meat to their beef chilli because of its nutritional value, however the culinary experiment left parents reeling, according to The Sun.
Unimpressed with the chef’s foray into the unknown, disgruntled parents complained that they weren’t told about the dish to Superintendent Mike Williams, who was forced to issue an apology for the “harm caused”.
“On behalf of the Potter-Dix Public Schools, I apologise for the anxiety and any harm that this has caused individual students and/or families,” Williams said.
“If a family wants to eat exotic foods, they can do so on their own time – not at school. If we were to have food or ingredients that are out of the ordinary, they should be listed on the menu so that the students and families are aware of what they would be being served.”
Williams also revealed that the decision to include the meat, eaten commonly in Australia, was made by head cook Keven Frei, who has since been spoken to in relation to the incident, despite the fact kangaroo meat meets the official health standards set by the US government.
Earlier this year, German supermarket chain Lidl announced it would be removing kangaroo meat from its shelves in the UK, following a backlash from customers who aren’t accustomed to the typically Aussie tucker.
At the time a spokesperson said: “As a global retailer, we strive to offer a range of international produce to the UK consumer and our kangaroo meat range has always proven popular.
“We do, however, appreciate that customer tastes and preferences are also subject to change. Following recent customer feedback, we have taken the decision to no longer sell kangaroo meat at Lidl UK.”
The decision to stop stocking the meat was heralded by animal rights organisation Viva! as part of their Save the Kangaroo campaign. In a statement published on their website, they said: “Marketing the ‘deluxe kangaroo steaks’ as nutritious and inexpensive Lidl consumers were unwittingly buying into the largest slaughter of land based wildlife in history.
“Hunted at night in the vast outback, with powerful four-track vehicles and mesmerising search lights, the startled animals are shot, supposedly in the head but many are in fact miss-shot and die a slow, agonising death.
“Although no statistics are currently available on the number of wounded animals, the Australian RSPCA estimates that 100,000 adult [kangaroos] are inhumanely killed with some temporarily surviving with horrific wounds, such as shot off jaws.”