The Loaf, also known also as “nutraloaf,” is fed as a punishment to inmates who get violent or have misbehaved. Unsurprisingly, civil-rights activists are urging prisons to stop serving it.
Even though “the loaf” must meet nutritional guidelines, prisons can come up with their own versions, grinding leftovers, vegetables, beans, and starches into a dense mass that (for reasons we might never understand) is served in a paper sack without seasoning.
While law enforcement says the loaf isn’t too bad, prisoners are often forced to eat it at every meal for days or even weeks after misbehaving. Once is bad enough for something that Aaron Fraser describes as a “bunch of guck, like whatever they have available.” Fraser, who spoke with NPR and was fed the loaf while serving time from 2004 to 2007, dreaded the cardboard-like meal. “I would have to be on the point of dizziness when I know I have no choice [to eat it].”
Turns out its not only the loaf that’s the punishment, but the monotony of eating it every day. Like Fraser, some inmates refuse to eat at all rather than eat the loaf. Which brings us back to human rights activists, who say the loaf’s nearly inedible state is unethical.