Prison is a horrendous place. Just watch OZ or PRISON BREAK or old episodes of DAVID CASSIDY: MAN UNDERCOVER.
On Monday the Vermont Supreme Court will hear arguments in a class-action suit brought by inmates who are claiming a certain prison practice is cruel and unusual punishment. No, it’s not creating an environment that leads to relentless violence and brutal rape. That the inmates can live with.
But some prisons are serving Nutraloaf at mealtimes and the line of cruelty has to be drawn somewhere. (I can almost see you OZ spec writers racing to your computers.)
Nutraloaf is a prison created dish often given to inmates who are unruly or throw their normal food in the mess hall. Guards got tired of having to clean hand-cut fettuccini pasta with Sonoma lamb Bolognese, Hudson Valley foie gras, and pan-roasted French turbot off the walls. So they were served this meatloaf-like concoction instead.
What’s in Nutraloaf? It’s whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisin, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk, and dehydrated potato flakes. You’ll probably see Rachel Ray prepare it next week.
Prison officials argue it’s nutritious (and to prove it, “Nutra” is right in its name) and easier to clean (the yardstick for all fine food).
I’m sure, like me, you will be anxious to hear how this plays out. Depending on the ruling, Spam and KFC Meals-in-a-Bowl could be next.
My one piece of advice to the Defense attorneys – do not let the judge or jury eat the evidence.