(July 8) Prison food. It isn’t supposed to be good. It’s supposed to be rotten, stinky and barely nutritional — unless you’re sent to a semiposh penitentiary, able to languidly chop up garlic, onions and tomatoes for an Italian feast, as achieved by the characters in “Goodfellas.”

But good food is just what some New Jersey felons will be getting after a deal that will occasionally substitute fresh fruits and vegetables for the standard fare of frozen peas, dehydrated potatoes and Grade D (but edible) meats. The New Jersey Department of Corrections will buy about a million extra pounds of Garden State fruits and veggies annually. Not only does this help the state save some dough, but it helps put some bread in the pockets of local produce farmers who may want to try an alternative market.

“This initiative will save state dollars since all purchases of these fruits and vegetables will be made at below-market cost,” said Devon Brown, commissioner of the department of corrections. South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton will use the produce in providing meals for its 2,600 inmates, as well as 23,000 offenders in other state facilities.

You’d never think convicted felons should have it so good, but it’s a program other states should consider. Every state has some sort of produce industry, whether small or large, and of course there are plenty of prisons. It’s a symbiosis that could be replicated nationally.

Plus, the produce industry could take advantage of this captive audience, hoping the prisoners become rehabilitated, productive members of society — and maybe voracious consumers of produce.

People who make healthy lifestyle choices tend to lead happier, more fruitful lives, free of violent crime. And while still in prison, they’ll be healthier and require less medical care. The downside is that prisoners with life terms will live longer — perhaps proving, paradoxically, that not all rotten fruit can be saved.