If Martha Stewart Can Survive the Alderson Prison Diet…

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Martha Stewart, food trends, prison diet, holiday food trends, holiday event trends
Martha Stewart

It’s been more than a decade now since Martha Stewart served time in Alderson Prison in West Virginia, where she famously complained about the food not being good enough and even got caught smuggling brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter and other food from the kitchen to create her own cell-block treats.

Life on the outside has her back in the holiday cooking spirit. Martha suggests these five food trends to try out this holiday season, which can be applied to events—as well as life on the inside.


This year, fruits and vegetables are being mixed together in a superhero-sidekick fashion, making less desirable root veggies popular again. For instance, a quick potato and carrot mash will liven up a traditional side that (in prison at least) could really make or break a meal.


This was undoubtedly a common theme during Martha’s “tenure.” Since then, collecting your own food has become mainstream—not simply as a necessity or to be used as a hot prison-trade item. Wild mushrooms and holiday fruits are making an appearance on holiday menus in everything from pastas to pies.


Easily stacked on toilet bowl lids and the ever-elusive windowsill, jars of fermented foods can provide a unique late-night snack for attendees. The chemical process of fermentation, used for traditional foods like sauerkraut, enhances flavor and extends the shelf life of foods—and not just for prison purposes. Pickling all food items—from beets to green beans—in vinegar adds a tasty snack to an event food spread.

Smoked Everything

No, we’re not talking smoking in the slammer (maybe later). Smoked salmon is just the beginning of this trend that includes everything from veggies to bacon to charred carrot toast.


Martha Stewart was said to have lost at least 10 pounds in prison, and that’s likely because she cut out her famous gluten-loaded sweets and pastries. (Those sugars she was smuggling were confiscated, after all). This trend only continues as more and more people want gluten-free pasta, bread, crackers—you name it. Corn muffins and cranberry and quinoa scones are good alternatives this holiday season.

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