I've caught and cooked grouper over the years, and was bewildered when ordering it in restaurants, many stocked by Sysco, and didn't recognize the fish as grouper. Figured ya learn something new everyday. I stopped buying it, as the texture was no longer recognizably uniform as, say salmon. Sysco, the supplier for perhaps 70% of Florida restaurants and a Gargantuan provider of a good portion of restaurants nationwide, had something fishy going on for years.
The Associated Press reports that "Florida's Attorney General has reached a Sept 3rd settlement with Sysco Food Serices, the national food distributor over allegations it was providing Tampa-area restaurants with phony grouper.Bill McCollum's office announced Wednesday that Sysco Food Services - West Coast Florida, Inc. will refrain from marketing items as grouper without taking reasonable steps to make sure they're not another, less expensive fish. The company will also donate $100,000 worth of food to local soup kitchens and reimburse the state's $200,000 investigative fees.The Attorney General's Office began investigating allegations in October 2006 that Tampa-area restaurants were passing off fish such as Emperor, Sutchi and Bream as grouper. Sysco was the supplier for 14 of the 17 restaurant found to be doing this".
Reading this, only the West Coast Florida Sysco branch got gigged, and Sysco's phoney grouper and other lucrative phoney fish sales are happily continuing across the country. Who will do expensive DNA studies on Sysco's alleged grouper, and other suspect fish in each of hundreds of local jurisdictions, to identify and stop their profitable scams?
A good deal of the expensive sushi, aside from obvious salmon, is questionable, too. Who, besides Sysco's clever experts, is crafty, slick, and so knowledgeable about other inexpensive fish substitutes? Funny how pricier fish are never substituted!
Boo, Hiss, Sysco.
Shame on Sysco, charging high prices and supplying lesser quality fish, ripping off trusting people across the USA.
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