So did everyone have a nice Easter? I hope you had an enjoyable time with family and friends, as well as plenty of good eats! I had to work, and for some strange reason, we were busier today than we were yesterday! But I got home at a decent time, and my parents stopped by on their way home from my sister's and en route to see my Dad's sister. They brought us some food, including my absolute Easter favorite, PICKLED EGGS! YES! <happy dance> While I was at work today, I tried not to think about it too much because it was making me salivate, but every once in a while I'd wonder if Mom was going to make some pickled eggs for me--she knows I love them. Well, Mom didn't make them this year, but my sister Diana did! Love you, Di! (I'm going to have to learn how to make pickled eggs, because sometimes I just have to have some.) It made my day to visit with Mom and Dad, and the pickled eggs were the icing on the cake. So to speak.
Speaking of food, I was more than a little grossed out--not to mention agitated--by a story I read in the paper this evening.
This is a...a thing known as "nutraloaf." Apparently some Vermont prisoners have filed a class-action lawsuit about being served nutraloaf, saying that it is a punishment given to them without benefit of the usual disciplinary process.
Nutraloaf is a delicious mixture of "cubed whole-wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes." Yummy yum! I think the presentation is fabulous, too. Doesn't that picture just make you want to whip up a batch right now?! Apparently, nutraloaf and its cousins aren't anything new to the penal system, and have been used for years as an attempt at behavior modification. While the prisoners' lawyer says that he has no argument with behavior modification, nutraloaf is nothing but punishment without due process. In 1988, a federal judge agreed, and ruled that the Michigan Department of Corrections' use of nutraloaf constituted punishment.
Sounds to me like it actually provides dietary essentials to the prisoners. As Lucy said, "It contains vitamins, meat, megetables, and vinerals."
Before you start feeling too sorry for the prisoners who are served nutraloaf, the "behavior" it is usually used to modify is the throwing of body waste and fluids, such as feces and urine (I'm sure you can think of a couple more), via the trays and silverware provided with usual meals. Nutraloaf is served on a piece of paper, with no utensils, partly taking away the opportunity for "flinging" said waste and fluids.
Would anyone care to ask me if I feel sorry for the prisoners being served nutraloaf? No? Ahh, you know me so well already.
First of all, they are in prison. 99.9% of them (and I'm making that number up, but I bet it's pretty dang close) are there because they have committed a crime.
Second, they ARE being fed. It may be pretty disgusting, in looks and in taste, but it is food, it is nutritious, and they won't starve to death if they eat it. If my Uncle Buck were alive, you could ask him about what he had to eat when he was a prisoner of war in Korea--I bet he would have been happy to have a heapin' helpin' of nutraloaf. For that matter, I bet you could ask my Dad if he would have eaten it when he was in North Africa and their supplies were delayed, and they had almost nothing to eat for a week or so. I bet he would have asked for seconds.
Third, these are prisoners that are slinging stuff at the guards, much like monkeys slinging stuff at zoo patrons. Does anyone remember when Clarice Starling goes to visit Hannibal Lecter in prison for the first time? Think about that and tell me that if you were in her shoes, you wouldn't be slinging a big wad of nutraloaf right back at them and yelling, "Eat THIS!"