You might assume jails leave convicts with religious dietary restrictions to fend for themselves, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons (called BOP, because TIGER BEAT
was taken) keeps a detailed checklist of specifications for kosher foods
. Everything from mixed veggie percentages to non-metallic packaging gets covered on the BOP guideline, and apparently the extra effort pays off. The kosher stuff is so highly regarded in some prisons
that Gentile inmates try to fake their way into the program!
The food used to be good
At least in the 1940s in that floating palace we call Alcatraz. The San Francisco Chronicle
got its hands on a vintage menu from '46
, and it includes some pretty fancy options. This relic supports many modern prisoners' complaints that food was way better in the past,
though we also don't have any postwar Tumblrs to back up the quality of the Beef Pot Pie Anglaise.
Commissary food is king
Inmates turned off by the groundhog meatballs go to the commissary, which is basically the jail's general store. (Peep the Federal Bureau of Prisons sample list
.) And you can use that food to trade for other food, like a grown-up version of trading snacks at the lunch table in 5th grade
. To wit, Modrowski writes, "The last time [we] purchased commissary, I bought my cellmate 20 [ramen] in exchange for a jar of peanut butter and 3 bags of instant brown rice."