posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:56 PM
Having worked in both hospitals and prisons, I can understand your frustration with both systems. Hospitals inevitably have people who are on special
diets (low salt=bland, clear liquid=jello and weak tea, etc.). These types of diets are inexpensive and do not require a higher budget. Many people
in hospitals are also "NPO" which means "nothing by mouth" which means you don't get to eat anything at all. Obviously such "diets" require
less money to implement.
Prisons, however, have eaters with limited or no dietary restrictions, usually grown, strong, healthy men (or women) with a need for higher caloric
intake. The prison in which I'm currently working typically serves powdered eggs, oatmeal or grits, toast (which the prison makes it's own baked
goods, ie: cakes, breads, etc.) and, on weekends there's usually some mystery meat which is optimistically referred to as "bacon". Lunch almost
always consists of sandwich meat, giant dinner rolls to put it on, a dollop of mayonnaise, and some lawn clippings euphemistically called "lettuce".
Dinner is often "gas and grass", otherwise alluded to as beans and turnip or mustard greens. Occasionally there is chicken or fish. The inmates
all have pudgy midsections and several have put on 40 pounds in the past 5-6 months due to the high starch content of most meals. The weight benches
(or rather, the weights themselves) have been removed because no one wants the inmates "beefing up" and becoming physically stronger or in better
shape than the officers guarding them. Walking endless little circles in your own segregated yard is about the only exercise any of them get. They
can look forward to getting fatter and lazier for the next 10-20 years whereas a hospital patient will usually only stay a few days and likely be too
ill to feel much like eating anyway.
On the surface, the disparity in incomes alloted to the feeding of prisoners verses hospital patients seems unjust; digging a little deeper into the
issue uncovers the real reason(s).