Author Sean Murphy is the owner of the Beach Bistro and Eat Here restaurants. He writes on matters culinary from time to time to aggravate his neighbors.
Some of his writings can be found on the Beach Bistro web-site at beachbistro.com
The selling of "American" seafood has become a scandal. The seafood Americans eat has stopped being American. Ninety one per cent of the seafood consumed by Americans now comes from Asia. At best only two per cent of it is being inspected. Of that two per cent, some ninety per cent is condemned because of contamination.
The scandalous part is that much of that Asian seafood is being repackaged and sold in markets and restaurants as something else. Two of the greatest menu lies are "Gulf Shrimp" and "Fresh Gulf Grouper"
It is possible to get Real American Gulf Shrimp - but you have to work a little harder to find it and you have to pay more for it.
Almost all of what restaurants are calling "Gulf Shrimp" is coming from shrimp farms much closer to the Gulf of Thailand than the Gulf of Mexico.
Asian shrimp is farm-raised in pools in salt marshes near river deltas. Virtually none of those shrimp pools are inspected.
I spent some time in Thailand and North Vietnam. Everybody upstream is peeing in the river. The shrimp farms are filled with water from those rivers. I observed one shrimp farm that was placed between a leather tannery and a cement plant.
The Asian-farmed shrimp are fed mostly meal made from trash fish captured in the Gulf of Thailand and the China Sea.
The ships that catch the trash fish are manned by up to 70% slave labor. Children are picked up from the streets and forced to work on the slave ships.
Chances are good that cheap Asian shrimp is not only tainted, it is morally tainted...
"Fresh Gulf Grouper"
This article has been written by Sean Murphy in partnership with our sister restaurant, the award-winning Beach Bistro.
About Eat Here: The Eat Here restaurants celebrate chef-crafted, Gulf Coast cookery and creative cocktails. Eat Here on Anna Maria Island and in Siesta Key were recently selected as two of Florida’s “best new restaurants” as part of Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Awards.
Eat Here Anna Maria Island: 5315 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-778-0411
Eat Here Siesta Key: 240 Avenida Madera, Sarasota, (941) 346-7800