Why ramen is so valuable in prison

Why ramen is so valuable in prison

Instant ramen noodles have become like cash among inmates in the US. And behind bars, it can buy you anything.

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Cash is illegal in prisons. And that means everything from tuna to stamps to cigarettes have their own unique value in a trade and barter market.

But ramen has quickly taken over as the most in demand products the prison system offers.

Watch this video to see how ramen took over prison economies and why it’s the default item for trade among inmates.

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62 Responses

  1. Samuel Schönenberger says:

    As a Japanese who grew up eating fresh Ramen from Street shops, this is kind of bizzare to hear about
    Also, I don’t know when Ramen got so popular in the West

  2. Nico Narvaez says:

    And also if you deal that you will get a weird nickname like BEEF BABY

  3. My name is Connor. says:

    $0.59?! It’s like $0.20-$0.35 locally, if you buy it in singles. Why the prison markup? You can’t even bring or send some either.

    Oh, I forgot, private prisons are designed to make money, not provide adequate facilities. Silly me!

  4. Zac _ says:

    “Flavorful and filling” you sure we’re talking about ramen?

  5. Bedhead Bernie says:


  6. Ben Anter says:

    they should let prisoners grow their own food in a farm and stuff

  7. Nick C says:

    It says something that U.S. prisoners and U.S. college students subsist off of the same dirt cheap food item.

    • skylar15123 says:

      It says that ramen is a cheap item. Because college students and prisoners both have little money.

    • AnxiousGary says:

      Many of our public school lunches are provided by the same companies that serve prison food. It starts well before college.

    • Tatiana ^_~ says:

      AnxiousGary yup, military installations as well. Prison, public school, military it’s all the same

    • Bolony 21 says:

      Many of my classmates have been bringing in ramen/asking teacher for ramen and eat nothing or outside of school, the lunch isnt that bad but still goes to show not the best food

    • Suzanne MacVicar says:

      You say this as if you think that inmates deserve to starve or survive off of food of extremely low nutritional value.

  8. Josh Wilson says:

    Fun Fact, instant ramen is the “staple food” of something like 2 billion people worldwide. Ouch.

  9. swirf ! says:

    eatin good noodles erryday. – tay k the escobar of noddle

  10. Daniel Harvey IV says:

    So true. That’s why I’m so tired of ramen , and will never eat it again, cuz im never going back to prison , largely for this exact reason.

  11. rewer says:

    Orange is the new Black. Ramen is the new Gold.

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  13. jadegrniz says:

    Lmao no surprise about Aramark. They supply all the public schools in PA, colleges included. Absolute trash, cutting corners wherever they can

    • Courtney Pearce says:

      jadegrniz they supply my university too and there’s been so many complaints. One girl I know found a feather in her chicken last year and multiple people found used cigarettes in food as well

  14. Mycel says:

    you should make a series about prison life.

  15. Mr Gamer says:

    Ramen is raw man
    You might not get my joke

  16. Snaffy 4 says:

    So weebs can die like naruto

  17. Ben Griffin says:

    “Inmates aren’t just using ramen as cash, their also eating it” wow who would have thought of that

  18. 연수 says:

    i got a huge boxful at home, time to move to prison.

  19. HotGhanaRadio says:

    I know Tay-K be eating them good noodles everyday in jail 😂😂

  20. Jay L360 says:

    Sheriff: “So what exactly happened?”

    Me: “They stole my ramen!!”

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