Instagram Star's Cookbook Recalled Due to Possibly Dangerous Recipes

Johnna Holmgren's 'Tales From a Forager's Kitchen' called for the use of wild mushrooms, berries
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2018 2:03 PM CDT
Instagram Star's Cookbook Recalled Due to Possibly Dangerous Recipes
In this photo taken on May 16, 2009, a morel mushroom spotted during a mushroom hunt and cooking class is seen in West Bend, Wis.   (AP Photo/Michelle Johnson)

Instagram star and blogger Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear, chronicles her family's life in the woods of Minnesota, which sometimes involves foraging for food. Her first cookbook, published in May, reflected that lifestyle: Tales From a Forager's Kitchen included recipes readers could make by foraging wild mushrooms, berries, and other plants from the forest. But the book has now been recalled due to concerns that those recipes could make aspiring foragers sick, BuzzFeed reports. One recipe, for example, called for morel mushrooms to be eaten raw; doing so can lead to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, per health officials. Readers and experts alike expressed concern, including in reviews on the book's Amazon page; multiple reviewers also pointed out recipes calling for raw elderberries (they need to be cooked in order not to be toxic to humans) and unleached acorns (they're basically inedible by humans if not leached first).

Holmgren initially told BuzzFeed her recipes were meant for "adventurous eaters" and noted that readers should "be certain you are 100% sure of the species and their identification before consumption. ... If you aren’t 1 million percent sure, do not eat it." But now publisher Rodale Books has formally recalled the book, issuing a statement saying that it takes readers' concerns seriously and that, along with Holmgren, it has "decided to discontinue the publication and promotion of the book. We are encouraging retailers to return their stock, and we are offering a full refund to consumers who have purchased the book." BuzzFeed notes that posts promoting the cookbook were no longer active on Holmgren's Instagram feed as of Friday night. On her blog, which includes the disclaimer "Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. I am not a health professional, medical doctor, nor a nutritionist," there is a post alerting readers to the recall. (More cookbooks stories.)

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