One weird facet of the conditions at Tamms I’d previously been unaware of is that the food there has been challenged as unconstitutional–in short, the question was raised in a lawsuit (Arnett v. Snyder, 2001) as to whether the Nutraloaf, or, as it’s less appealingly referred to in the lawsuit, “Meal Loaf,” is so bad and insufficient as food to be unconstitutional. Here’s the recipe.

The Slate article doesn’t delve fully into the basis of the lawsuit–it’s not just that “Meal Loaf” sucks, although that is actually one of the official complaints, it’s also that the punitive “controlled-feeding status” (“a combination of regular food items prepared in a loaf served only with water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No utensils are provided with the “meal loaf,” and no other food or liquids are provided.”) is a violation of the penal code, the Eighth Amendment, and of due process. None of the arguments flew with the appellate court.