Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Cousin Rose Mary says that John Stossel did a story on 20/20 last week about "prison loaf," the decidedly People-Chow-like substance sometimes fed to inmates of the Maryland prison system. Look here for the story; I assume it's a transcript of the broadcast.

As it turns out, National Public Radio did a story too, back in April. While Stossel focuses on whining prisoners who consider the Loaf a form of cruel and unusual punishment, NPR's Scott Simon calls it by turns "horrible stuff", "blander than bland," and a "horrid bread dish" that "smells a little bit like the food they serve in the elephant cage at the National Zoo." NPR at least publishes a recipe so we know what they're talking about.

The state of Maryland evidently considers prison loaf more of a disciplinary measure than a cost-saving one, but it does look as if the stuff would be relatively cheap to make. Honestly, it doesn't sound half bad to me, but I'm rather fond of bread -- eating exactly the same thing at every meal for days on end sounds like the cruel and unusual part. And maybe that's the real problem with the idea of feeding the world's starving innocents with People Chow. After a while they'd go nuts.


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