Monday 15 October 2018

Instagram influencer's cookbook recalled over concerns her recipes could be dangerous

Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram
Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram
Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram
Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

An Instagram influencer's cookbook has been recalled by its publisher over concerns that some of the recipes featured could be dangerous.

Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear, from Minnesota, has over 130,000 followers on Instagram and recently had a book entitled Tales from a Forager's Kitchen published, featuring 80 recipes and "foraging tips".

On Thursday, the book's publisher Crown Publishing released a statement on its website saying they have "decided to discontinue the publication and promotion of the book." It comes after criticism from foragers who expressed concern that the book, which included ingredients like raw morels in mushrooms, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea when eaten raw, but which is eradicated through cooknig.

She also featured elderberries, which are acceptable in its mature form in small doses, but immature berries are also poisonous. The statement explains that anyone who purchased the book will be given a refund.

Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram
Johnna Holmgren, aka Fox Meets Bear. Picture: Instagram

"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," it read. "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."

Similarly, Holmgren includes a disclaimer on her website, reading: "While I strive to be 100% 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."

Buzzfeed was first to break the story and spoke to a number of funghi experts who spoke of their concern at the poisonous ingredients being peddled in a cookbook. Earlier this month, she told the website her cookbook is meant for "adventurous eaters."

"We have personally eaten raw mushrooms and have no had negative experiences," she said.

Holmgren has not commented publicly since the recall notification.

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