School Lunch: Whale

May 20 2005 - 9:33 AM

Is the dolphin, whale or pig the most intelligent?  Everything’s Better with Blubber.
From The Sydney Morning Herald

Almost black and certainly smelly – it’s part of Japanese culture,
writes Deborah Cameron, Herald Correspondent in Tokyo

The catch of the day is whale. Delivered fresh from the ocean,
it arrives before the start of school.

In a couple of hours the bell will sound and primary school
children will tuck into the whale, coated in breadcrumbs and fried
with a little garlic and ginger.

The whale lunch special, reintroduced after a 20-year absence to
280 Japanese schools, has given one of the world’s least-loved
lobby groups something to celebrate.

"It is healthy food for children and it is a symbol of the
community," said an adviser to the Japan Whaling Association and
historian, Shigeko Misaki.

"Whaling itself is not just about acquiring food, it is a point
of solidarity," she said.

The school district that put it back on the menu is in Wakayama,
a province whose small whale and dolphin hunting fleet needs
customers.

Japanese have been eating whale since prehistoric times and were
involved in organised hunting since at least the 17th century and
perhaps as early the 14th century, Ms Misaki says.

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