In an effort to cut costs, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails in Maricopa County, Arizona are dropping meat from the menu and going veg.

Arpaio’s jails are famous for nontraditional approaches. According to My Fox Phoenix, Maricopa County was the first to bear witness to the construction of a “Tent City” in 1993 and later inmates were forced to ditch their regular boxers and briefs in favor of pink underwear (alleged to symbolize the loss of masculinity).


All jails in Maricopa County will now serve soy-based protein products instead of meat, a move that will apparently save $100,000, Arpaio said in a video interview with My Fox Phoenix. One of the first meals to adopt the meat-to-veg transition is a dish that inmates call “slop.” It’s said to be a stew that includes flour, oil, peas, carrots and now, soy chips. A video of its preparation can be viewed here.

“Little by little this is the first step to go vegetarian,” said Arpaio to My Fox Phoenix’s Troy Hayden.

While Arpaio did not make his decision for the sake of inmates’ health, perhaps his move will show that eating veg is indeed affordable. Maybe with time we’ll see school lunch programs follow suit and replace unappetizing pink slime with nutritious and inexpensive plant-based products.

Image source: Miss_Millions / Flickr