Orange is the new green: produce from prisons
June 6th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

The first season of the Netflix hit show Orange is the New Black featured a series of prison food posters, with recipes attached. Among the highlights: Prison Pad Thai (four ingredients: ramen noodles, peanut butter, peanuts and hot sauce) and Prison Tamales with a beef jerky filling.

For those of us who haven't binge-watched all of the second season yet, there's no word yet on what the prison food situation will be (beyond that the show’s cookbook comes out in October). I wonder if the star of the series, Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling), will start a garden. Because that’s what’s happening at a lot of prisons around the country.

Farm programs, like the ones below, teach inmates about nutrition, how to grow food and related life-skill lessons. The programs supply healthy food for prison cafeterias as well as for nearby restaurants and homeless shelters. Not only that: These gardening programs have been shown to reduce the rate of repeated incarceration. Bring on the #OITNB Cellblock Caesar Salad.

March 23rd, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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"Most of the time in culinary, your background doesn't matter."

Eating in prison may not sound too appealing, but the lunch menu at a minimum-security facility in Concord, Massachusetts may change your mind. CNN Photojournalist Bob Crowley shows us how some inmates there at the Fife and Drum restaurant are cooking and serving up lunch to the public, all for just three dollars and twenty-one cents.

Previously - Last orders – death row menu requests and Inmates grow roots as jailhouse farmers and Your steak was cooked by a criminal

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Filed under: Prison • Restaurants

September 23rd, 2011
11:15 AM ET
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The hefty last meal ordered but not eaten by an executed Texas inmate brought a complaint from a state senator and the end Thursday to the practice of special menus.

Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote Thursday that he opposed the practice of providing a last meal of choice to the condemned.

"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege. One which the perpetrator did not provide to their victim," Whitmire wrote.

The Democrat, who represents Houston and parts of north Harris County, said "enough is enough" after Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered two chicken fried steaks smothered in gravy with sliced onions, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet with other ingredients, a large bowl of fried okra with ketchup, three fajitas, a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a pound of barbecue with a half-loaf of white bread.

Read Texas drops special last meal for death row inmates

Previously - Last orders: death row menu

Last orders - death row menu requests
September 27th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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Food in the Field gives a sneak peek into what CNN's team is eating, and the food culture they encounter as they travel the globe. Today's contributor, photojournalist Jeremy Harlan is based in Washington D.C., but he travels. A lot.

Pictured above: death row inmate Hank Skinner

If we’re going to have this discussion, I have to start with Memphis-style ribs. I’d move onto a heaping amount of moist Texas beef brisket. Grilled asparagus. One In-n-Out 3×3 burger with fries, animal-style. A 12-oz dry-aged ribeye medium-rare. Wait, make it rare. What the heck. Wash it down with a cherry lambic and finish it off with peach cobbler and one piece of chocolate cream pie. Did I say one piece? Better make it two.

Over the past year, I’ve covered two executions in Virginia and have interviewed a death row inmate in Texas. At each of those events, one subject that always draws a lot of interest is the last meal request. Next to what a prisoner’s last words were, the most popular inquiry by reporters always seems to be what the person ate before death.

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Filed under: Cuisines • Favorites • Food in the Field • Obsessions • Prison • Rituals

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