Voice of the Jewish News: Kosher porridge

Voice of the Jewish News: Kosher porridge

This week's editorial focuses on news that prisoners in Scottish jails are requesting kosher food because it's better than regular grub

Prison (Wikipedia/Henry Hagnäs)
Prison (Wikipedia/Henry Hagnäs)

We always knew Jewish food was great — and now the prison population in Scotland has officially endorsed that belief.

For despite the fact that in the whole of Scotland, there were just nine Jewish prisoners in Scottish jails in 2013-2014, last month a startled HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that 111 prisoners in HMP Edinburgh had opted for a kosher diet, with a further 10 set to join them the following week. That means 13 percent of the overall prison population reckon kosher meals are better than the usual fare.

In its June report, the Inspectorate noted that a significant number of prisoners had decided to move onto a kosher diet, which did not appear to be for wholly faith-based reasons.

Going kosher is costing the prison an extra quarter of a million pounds a year, and it is claimed that some of the trend can be laid at the door of the TV show Orange is the New Black.

In one episode, a character converts to Judaism in order to get better food. Edinburgh prisoners, who are said to have watched the cell-set show avidly, are believed to have thought this a good wheeze — and tried it, with great success.

We think the prison authorities could cut this trend off at the knees by asking the men to say the appropriate blessing before each meal.

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