President Obama Bans Pork at Federal Prisons- Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The Bureau of Prisons, which works at the behest of President Obama, has banned pork at federal prisons.
It’s true that pork has been removed from federal prison menus.
Pork was removed from federal prisons when the new fiscal year began in October. The fiscal year 2016 National Menu for America’s 206,000 federal inmates is pork-free.
Many have questioned whether the decision to ban pork at federal prisons was made for religious reasons. Muslim prisoners that follow a halal diet are unable to eat pork. Jewish prisoners are also unable to eat pork because animals that don’t chew their cud or have split hooves aren’t considered kosher.
But Edmund Ross, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons, told the Washington Post that the decision to ban pork was based on a survey of prisoners’ food preferences. Ultimately the decision was made, Ross said, because pork wasn’t a popular meal choice, and it’s one of the most expensive to provide.
“Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?” Ross said. “Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years.”
In theory, pork could be the lowest-rated menu option because the religious beliefs of Muslim and Jewish prisoners make them rate it low among available food options — but that’s not the case.
Eighty-five percent of the prisoners locked up in federal and state prisons across the U.S. identify as Christian, according to the PEW Research Center. There’s no way that a small minority of Muslim and Jewish prisoners could make pork the lowest-rated food for religious reasons alone.
But Dave Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said that it was hard to believe that a survey would find a majority of any population — let alone federal prisoners — who say they don’t want bacon:
“We’re going to find out how this came about and go from there,” Warner said. “We wouldn’t rule out any options to resolve this.” He said the association “is still formulating our strategy” to reverse the prison decision, which the industry first learned about Monday when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called for comment.
So, it’s true that the Bureau of Prisons has banned pork at federal prisons. As of now, however, the only reason given for the change is that prisoners don’t like it.