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Former inmate says prison diet too low in vitamins

Prison food consists of too much starch, canned vegetables and no fruit, according to a former inmate released in 2004. When I left prison, I had a medical check-up and I had a lot of deficiencies, says Serge. I would have dreamed of making salads in prison, he adds, as reported by RTBF.

Serge blames the deficiencies on a lack of vitamins from his food. The evening meal regularly consisted of slices of bread with a bar of chocolate, while at noon, the menu was more varied, consisting of vegetables – mainly canned – and potatoes, he adds

To get other commodities, it is not uncommon for the inmate to spend money. “If an inmate is eating fruit, it’s because he bought it with his money and bought it at the canteen,” says Serge.

Fifteen years later, the diet in prison has not changed, said social worker Kathleen Zurnie. Inmates complain about the fat in diets, many of them get fat in jail because of it, added Zurnie.

Prisons want to do the best with the small budget they have. 3 euros 50 per prisoner per day, an inadequate budget planned for three meals, said two prison directors.

The food is not “unworthy,” however, said one of the directors adding that food in prison has not changed since the 80s.

The Brussels Times