Are we just scrambling for the things from our foods? Is there a point in which we just lose all love and respect for all these things, and completely miss the point? Consider this recipe, for instance:
Mmmm, Mmmm Good Ingredients
- 6 slices whole wheat bread, finely chopped
- 4 ounces nondairy cheese, finely grated
- 12-ounce can spinach, drained
- 4 ounces seedless raisins
- 2 cups Great Northern beans, cooked and drained
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 8 ounces powdered milk, nonfat/skim
- 6 ounces potato flakes, dehydrated
Can you guess where this recipe is from? How different are our free lives from this captivating recipe? It may be time to check ourselves. First, I learn from this recipe, that there may not be a dish that is “all-inclusive” consisting of everything that we need in life. Secondly, I gather that a large portion of society (and we will see how large soon) has started scrambling, become tired of the something, and completely missed the point. Many of us do not live in situations that would necessitate this recipe, but how many of us lead our lives based on a concept like this regardless? Really, what is the point?
At first glance, this looks like a decent recipe. As you continue reading down you must be wondering, where in the world is this coming from and what is it supposed to be? How do you combine all these ingredients and get anything eatable?
To answer some of your questions, this recipe comes from the Vermont Department of Corrections. Many other correctional facilities use this recipe called “Nutraloaf” (Greenwood). An article in the American Bar Association Journal explains that this meal is a “disciplinary measure” and it seems that is comes up mostly to punish wrong deeds of prisoners who commit a separate infraction while in jail. The foods included are “nutritionally correct”, but what is the problem?
Part of the point of this meal allows people to eat without utensils. And though the foods are all legitimate, there are a lot of starchy ingredients so it causes constipation. Last, it apparently has an “uncontroverted unpleasant taste”.
How many of us are similarly punishing ourselves? I do not have a picture, but try to imagine what this meal may look like. Eating in this manner seems to really miss the point of food. Actually, if you are honestly eat this way you may be violating your own Eighth Amendment and 14th Amendment rights. Prisoners that must eat this “bread-and-water diet” in correctional facilities across the country use these Constitutional arguments against their facilities. Approximately 15 states participate in this diet.
How different is your diet from this extreme, yet current example? Are you missing the point? Is it just food, or punishment?
Can you imagine what this meal might look like? A July American Bar Association article details a prisoner who went on a hunger strike because of this diet. The prisoner, Elizabeth Johnson, proclaimed that “officials were serving her food contaminated with rotten vegetables and worms. Now can you envision this diet?
Understanding the point of this “bread-and-water diet” do we now have a greater respect for our own free diets? Perhaps this story might even invoke a sense of sympathy and advocacy for the diets of prisoners as well. Again I ask, what’s the point of food and are we living and eating with that point in mind?