Why ramen is so valuable in prison The (mostly) true story of hobo 1 day ago   05:01

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Instant ramen noodles have become like cash among inmates in the US.

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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.

The Goods by Vox explains what we buy, why we buy it, and why it matters.

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Comments 8040 Comments

Pixel Donkey
Aren't college kids and inmates in the same place
british people yellow teeth
we need to give prisoners ice cream, turkey legs, t-bone, gravy, and what else vox some cheese cake too???
pathetic, we could be giving foster kids better food you know. Prisoner should be fed with roadkills and dead animals, period!
Lyas
Naruto can explain
Henri-Eerik Reintal
I Prefer anacom
Sebastian Lim
Baby beef - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Oscar Sey
why dont they just feed the prisoners ramen its 59 cents right?
flower power
Maruchan and top ramen are not the same! Maruchan is where it's at
Yezus 323
And because you can make a shank out of that ramen lol
The toad
If you send 100 packs to your family member in prison...*becomes richest prisoner on earth*
WizardMitten Productions
If ur not able to have money in prison how do u get the ramen from the commissary in the first place
SebNasti
It’s because the college kids always do underage........ ummm...................
Jr Lopez
i could get a 12 pack of raman for $3
Daichi Hirata
As a Japanese person, I really confused.....
Pockey
There criminals they don’t need to have a meal worth the same as the good samaritan
Leelurb Poopy
Eating good noodles every day
Mr Dan Master
Its like prison has its own economy.
CaptainSmileyFace
I literally watched that episode of ONB like 2 hours ago
Dexter's Laboratory
Level 35 boss
SSR_Toxic
I bet filthy Frank Is watching this
Just Trying
I actually saw a Brooklyn nine nine episode about how ramen is the currency in prison
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The (mostly) true story of hobo Why ramen is so valuable in prison 1 day ago   05:37

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What we know about hobo graffiti comes from hobos — a group that took pride in embellishing stories.

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Hobos, or tramps, were itinerant workers and wanderers who illegally hopped freight cars on the newly expanding railroad in the United States in the late 19th century. They used graffiti, also known as tramp writing, as a messaging system to tell their fellow travelers where they were and where they were going. Hobos would carve or draw their road persona, or moniker, on stationary objects near railroad tracks, like water towers and bridges.

But news stories at the time spread tales of a different kind of graffiti. They included coded symbols that were supposedly drawn on fence posts and houses to convey simple messages to tramps. Seeing an image of a cat on a fence post indicated “kind lady lives here,” for example. While this language probably existed to a certain extent, it certainly was not as widespread as the media led readers to believe. In reality, these stories were largely informed by hobos — a group that took pride in embellishing stories so they could remain elusive.

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