A school superintendent is so very sorry that a school chef added kangaroo meat to a chili he served up to students in Potter, Nebraska.
In a letter to concerned parents, Potter-Dix Public Schools Superintendent Mike Williams said that head cook, Kevin Frei, added kangaroo to a beef chili because of “its nutritional value” as a “very lean meat.”
Was a lean fillet of kangaroo what former First Lady Michelle Obama had in mind when she wanted to encourage public schools to make their lunches healthier? Probably not! But perhaps Frei just wanted to get a little creative in the kitchen and mix it up a little, with the children’s health in mind. A nice lean meat to counteract a fatty beef base? Inspired.
But it turns out that people want to know what their putting into their mouths. Ah, a fatal flaw in Frei’s valiant plan.
Williams believes that while it’s perfectly acceptable for families to enjoy “exotic food,” it is to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes, not dished out unknowingly to students at school.
“This is a matter I am taking very seriously,” wrote Williams. “I do not think that kangaroo meat is unhealthy or dangerous. It has to meet USDA standards in order for companies to sell it. But it is without a doubt not a normal staple of our diet and will not, nor will any other non-staple foods, be a part of the Potter-Dix meal program.”
The Associated Press reports that Frei has been fired.
There are a lot of unanswered questions here: How did the Frei even order kangaroo meat without someone higher up asking questions? Who snitched? Did the students complain? Was the chili yummy? Does kangaroo low key taste good? Will he open up an “exotic” meats restaurant in Nebraska? Is Frei just a creative man who was punished for expressing himself? Will I ever get over my fear of eating cuts of meat I’m unfamiliar with? (No).
Look, it appears that the results of this little experiment were largely harmless; people are a little squicked out, but that’s about it. Still, it’s far too dangerous and irresponsible for chefs to add ingredients to dishes without having them listed on some kind of menu. Too many kids have food allergies and dietary restrictions these days to mess around with that on principle. Dude should have just left the experiments to his own kitchen.