Instant Ramen Now Currency of Choice in Most Prisons

Yet another blow for big tobacco

August 22, 2016 9:00 am

Turns out America’s colleges and prisons have more in common than the size and general state of cleanliness of the accommodations.

They’re also the joint pillars of our country’s instant ramen industry.

According to a study from the University of Arizona’s School of Sociology, prisoners in U.S. state penitentiaries are increasingly turning to instant ramen noodles as currency (over cigarettes, among other things).

The shift is happening because cost-cutting measures have made prisoners so unhappy with the quality and quantity of prison food that inexpensive, calorie-rich ramen has fast become a vital part of the underground economy behind bars, says study author Michael Gibson-Light.

In addition to being traded for other food items, clothing, hygiene products and services (like laundry and bunk cleaning), the instant noodles are used as chips during gambling sessions and card games as well as antes for football pools.

“One way or another, everything in prison is about money,” an inmate told Gibson-Light. “Soup is money in here. It’s sad but true.” (A former inmate who served food for six years agrees.)

If you ever end up trading ramen in the clink, eat it like this to avoid becoming someone’s b*tch.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.