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What is Nutraloaf?

Recipes for Nutraloaf vary from prison to prison.209 Typical recipes include wheat or flour, carrots, spinach, beans, potato or potato flakes, tomato paste, and nonfat dry milk.210 A few prisons add garlic powder for taste.211 Virginia even throws in a pinch of sugar.212 Less fortunate inmates get cabbage.213 A selection of recipes is included as appendices to this Note.

Whatever the recipe, all ingredients are grated or chopped, mixed together into a uniform paste, and baked into a loaf.214 The result, of course, is typically fairly bland.215 It is served without utensils or even a tray, officially because one point of the loaf is to eliminate these items as possible weapons.216 A piece of freezer paper is all that prevents the inmate from eating directly off of the floor of the cell.217

Each version of Nutraloaf is claimed to meet or exceed the nutritional requirements of an adult prisoner.218 However, in some cases prisoners have lost weight due to their unwillingness to eat it.219

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