NYC Jails’ Healthy Diet: Skim Milk, Wheat Bread, No Sweets


No butter, no sweets, skim milk only. That’s a feature of the new diet in New York City jails, where inmates are now feeding on fiber-rich cereals and fresh fruit, the New York Daily News reports. “These people are in our custody, and they don’t get to make their own choices. We have a moral obligation to make sound choices for them,” said Correction Commissioner Martin Horn. Last week, the department of Correction began serving its roughly 14,000 inmates whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Unsweetened muffins will replace sweetened ones.

The healthy food isn’t costing the city any more money. The per-day price of food for an inmate is $2.50 without labor costs. Serving protein-packed meals cuts inmates’ chances of having a stroke, heart attack or other medical emergency on the city’s watch. The department eliminated fried foods about a decade ago, and during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has scaled back the amount of red meat served in favor of more chicken, fish, and tofu. Not everyone favors feeding inmates healthy foods. “You should never eat better in jail than you do on the outside,” said Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio spends 40 cents a day per prisoner for food, serving bologna on white bread, a piece of fruit and dried crackers.


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