Food is important in every social setting, but it is especially salient for prisoners deprived of so many other comforts. For prisoners in disciplinary units, a meatloaf-like concoction known as Nutraloaf is often the only meal. Nutraloaf (sometimes called a “special management meal”) is intended to meet the basic nutritional requirements in a “meal” that requires no utensils and minimal time to prepare or distribute. Nutriloaf — and the whole concept of “disciplinary food” — is so unpopular that prisoners have challenged its constitutionality in a number of jurisdictions.
I mention all this because Jesse Wozniak passed along this class project from Micaela Magsamen, a student in his policing class this semester. Hearing Jesse’s mention of Nutraloaf in lecture, Ms. Magsamen decided to prepare and taste-test one recipe for the loaf (which includes both tomato paste and applesauce), photographing and powerpointing the results. While I didn’t taste-test this version myself, I’d imagine that such an exercise might change one’s view on the whole constitutionality issue.