Instant Noodle: Black-Market Currency in Prison

Some of you may have heard of this already. For others, this may be new.

“For all those reasons and more, the noodles are overtaking tobacco as
the preferred underground currency that inmates use in prisons”

“Cigarettes have long been the king of currency at prisons, but there’s a new commodity worth even more: ramen noodles.”

Whoever released this story did an unreal job. It is everywhere today.

Instant noodle is a currency everywhere?

Lol. No - though I’d like to try to pay with ramen somewhere just to see the look an their face.

This article about ramen as currency in prison is everywhere. I’ve never seen a “fringe” story picked up in so many places all at the same time.


I can totally imagine that instant ramen is a currency at college environment especially between roommates:
“Oh dude, that is awesome ramen. If you give me 6 packs of the ramen, and I will let you play with my Playstation 4 for a week!”
“Dude. If you cut my hair, I will give you 5 packs of ramen”…etc

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Dude! I can almost see it making sense in prison - but in the dorm, just no. Even on the limited budget of a college student, those ramen noodles are ten packs for a dollar, or were when I was in college back when dinosaurs walked the earth. They might be even cheaper now. For the same reason the old punk joke was that the punk rock food pyramid was heroin, ramen, and Jolly Ranchers.

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I am thinking about higher end instant noodle. Those $2-3 per pack ones:

I remember even when I was a college students, people will long for those high quality instant ramen which can be difficult to get (especially if your university is located at a small town).

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo