Instagram star's cookbook is recalled due to concerns over recipes that include wild mushrooms and raw elderberries

Johnna Holmgren’s book, Tales From a Forager’s Kitchen, has been recalled due to concerns of ingredients listed in her recipes. (Photo: foxmeetsbear via Instagram)

Johnna Holmgren, who goes by Fox Meets Bear on Instagram, has recently had her book, Tales From a Forager’s Kitchen, recalled by its publisher Rodale Books.

The cookbook, which features recipes that include wild morel mushrooms, raw elderberries, and unleached acorns, according to Buzzfeed, has drawn concerns from critics that suggest the publication of such recipes may be dangerous, especially to those not adequately educated in identifying which ingredients are safe to eat, or how the wild ingredients should be prepared.

“True morel mushrooms” are often confused with “false morel mushrooms,” a term that includes a number of different species of fungi. False morels may contain chemicals that cause vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, and sometimes death. Mature elderberries are edible in small doses; however, immature berries, which appear red, should be avoided. Cooking elderberries neutralize their astringency. Unleached acorns contain tannins which make you nauseous and constipated.


Rodale Books released the following statement: “Rodale Books and our author Johnna Holmgren take very seriously the concerns expressed by readers regarding the preparation and cooking of recipes with raw ingredients (mushrooms and elderberries) that are contained in her recently published Tales From a Forager’s Kitchen. In light of our review of these concerns, and because of our dedication to wellness, Rodale Books and Johnna Holmgren have 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.

“Consumers should email foragerskitchen@rodalebooks.com for more information. We are all committed to publishing books that offer reliable and comprehensive guidance about their subjects and we regret the inconvenience to our booksellers and readers.”


Holmgren’s website bears the disclaimer, “While I strive to be 100 percent accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. I am not a health professional, medical doctor, nor a nutritionist. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site and any published content.”

Holmgren has not yet addressed the discontinuation of publication for her book on social media.

Both Johnna Holmgreen and Rodale Books did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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