Eastern State Penitentiary gives visitors taste of prison food

Prison Food Weekend is taking place at Eastern State Penitentiary.

John McDevitt
June 01, 2018 - 9:30 pm
Eastern State Penitentiary

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Eastern State Penitentiary historic site in Fairmount holds events year round to spark conversation about the current prison system. Prison Food Weekend is taking place June 2-3.

Visitors can taste five states' versions of nutriloaf, served as punishment food in many American prisons. Recipes vary, but it's generally made of meat, vegetables, beans, and grains blended together and baked into a loaf.

"Historically, courts have sided with departments of corrections to say you are allowed to serve people in prisons this food, even though it's really disgusting," said Annie Anderson, manager of research and programming at Eastern State Penitentiary. "But we are finding that some prison officials are moving away from this practice. So we want to just kind of prod our visitors and ask them is this cruel and unusual? Could you eat this meal for 14 days straight?"

Tastier foods made by prisoners in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Culinary Arts Training Program can also be sampled.