By Marc Kovac
Coming soon to a prison near you: full-sized, less-greasy, meat-mixture patties that fill inmates’ buns.
That’s thanks to a lawmaker panel’s approval Monday of state prison officials’ plans to switch to a vegetable-based meat filler over the current soy-based alternative.
The state Controlling Board signed off on more than $95,000 for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to purchase “vegetable-based meat extender” from the Old Dominion Spice Co., a Virginia-based company and sole provider of the trademarked product, known as VersiTex.
The mix will be added to chicken and turkey processed by inmates into meatloaf and pizza patties that are served in prisons statewide, replacing a soybean-based product that currently is mixed with “turkey thigh trim” for meals.
The new vegetable-based extender contains less fat and cholesterol and has “minimal grease runoff from the finished meat product,” thus making inmate meals healthier while reducing grease disposal costs to the state, according to documents.
“The product is easy to cook, reduces grease and, because it doesn’t shrink, produces a full-sized patty that fills the bun,” according to documents.