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Author Topic: Prisoner wants whole foods  (Read 1838 times)

Offline LorienneS

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Prisoner wants whole foods
« on: April 14, 2009, 09:40:00 AM »
Terry Nichols, convicted co-conspirator in the Oklahoma City Bombing, is suing for the right to eat whole foods.

So what? Or, does he have a point? Does his health matter? I'd love to know your thoughts.

eat food - not too much - mostly plants

Offline Nori

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Re: Prisoner wants whole foods
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 11:53:34 AM »
Interesting request!  For a bit over 1 year I did teach a weekly class in nutrition to medium security prisoners in San Quentin.   My goal was to help them find better ways to eat when on the outside to help prevent recidivism.  Using a diet evaluation tool, I learned they are theoretically delivered 2500 calories per day with 15-18% protein, and the rest divided between carbs and fats.  Micronutrients were variable, mostly coming from 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables and enriched starch.  Quality was very poor. One prisoner told me the chicken packages were labeled "not for human consumption".  The packaged food reminded me of the offerings available at a 711 or gas station store: a neurotoxic, hypoglycemic nightmare.   

Most of the prisoners volunteered their opinion that the food they got made them feel bad, gain or lose weight, and long for getting out.  The snacks that I was able to bring in, mostly leafy greens and seaweed, were devoured. 

Many researchers have done studies in prisons to understand the effects of nutrition on behavior.   Paul Stitt and Stephen Schoenthaler are good to check out.  Russell Blaylock, MD has a DVD entitled NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOR that captures their main points, backed up by numerous references. 

I think Terry Nichols makes a good point in asking for whole foods because it does indeed matter.  But I know many people will  disagree since many children in this country often do not have enough to eat.  Where to put our resources is the proverbial question, isn't it? 

Long ago, prisons stopped being institutions of reform.  The prison industry is booming, especially in this country.  Without goals to improve mental and emotional health, with hard-wired food supply contracts in place, and a very powerful prison guard union, changing this model will take a large effort. 
Nori M. Hudson, BA, MS
Instructor, Bauman College, Berkeley
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by and Registered with NANP
Certified Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator,  Nutrition Consultant, and Nutrition Teacher through Bauman College

Offline StephanieS

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Re: Prisoner wants whole foods
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 01:04:05 PM »
Our country's institutions epitomize everything that is wrong with our society, IMO. I worked for three years in a psych unit and it was really amazing. You take a bunch of paranoid people, shove them in a dark building, feed them terrible food, stuff them with meds, and expect them to improve. Huh? It was partially that experience that led me to holistic nutrition school.

Health is a basic human right. That means that healthy food is a basic human right. I don't care if you're in an institution or in Mill Valley. It's really sad how far we've strayed from that.