I've never been to prison, but I have been told what it's like. And one thing I always here is how bad the food is. So the thought of Ramen replacing tobacco as currency in prisons isn't that surprising.

With recent budget cuts to prisons, the quality of the food is something that has suffered. Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona’s school of sociology did a recent study and says quote "[Ramen] is easy to get and it’s high in calories. A lot of them, they spend their days working and exercising and they don’t have enough energy to do these things."

There was a book that was written by Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez all about ramen in prisons, which includes recipes. If you're looking for some Ramen recipes, you can find the book here.

Ramen has become such a high commodity in prisons, that despite it being so cheap, it actually can be traded for items worth much more. Ramen will go for about $.59, but a sweatshirt worth over $10 can be traded for 2 packages of Ramen.

So next time you're in the grocery store and pass by the Ramen. just remember, depending on where you are each package is like gold.