- Instagram influencer Johnna Holmgren published a cookbook of recipes from ingredients foraged from the forest.
- Some of those ingredients were potentially toxic, as Amazon reviewers pointed out.
- When criticism first emerged, Holmgren told BuzzFeed News that foragers need to be extra careful to make sure they’re eating the right species of food.
- Her publisher Rodale books announced on Friday that it was recalling the book.
„Rodale Books and Johnna Holmgren have decided to discontinue the publication and promotion of the book,“ the publisher’s statement said, noting that the recall was over concerns about recipes involving mushrooms and elderberries. „We are encouraging retailers to return their stock, and we are offering a full refund to consumers who have purchased the book.“
Many of the recipes in the book used ingredients that can largely be foraged from the woods, inspired by Holmgren’s foraging lifestyle on her popular Instagram Fox Meets Bear. The problem, as critics noted, was that some of the recipes in the book used potentially toxic ingredients, as BuzzFeed News reported.
A recipe for Dark Chocolate Dipped Fungi, for example, recommended the reader „brush and wash“ morel mushrooms before covering them in chocolate. But organizations like the Michigan Department of Community Health warns that eating raw morel mushrooms can cause „nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain,“ and experts generally recommend that no wild mushrooms should ever be eaten raw.
Other recipes recommend using raw elderberries and foraged acorns. Elderberries can cause digestive issues if eaten raw. And Philip Stark, who heads a foraging organization at Berkeley University, told BuzzFeed News that acorns should have their tannins leeched out before being consumed — a process that takes days.
Reviewers left one-star reviews for the book warning other people not to buy it after other foraging chefs objected to recipes.
Holmgren told BuzzFeed News earlier in August when criticism first emerged that foragers should be careful to properly identify species before consuming them, but that she had „personally eaten raw mushrooms and [had no] negative experiences.“
Johanna Holmgren and Rodale Books did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s further requests for comment. You can read the full statement from Rodale Books below:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Source: Business insider