This Instagram Influencer’s New Cookbook Supposedly Has Recipes With Toxic Mushrooms

Johnna Holmgren is a blogger with a popular Instagram under the name Fox Meets Bear. According to BuzzFeed, Holmgren lives in Minnesota with her husband Max and their three daughters Minoux, Juniper and Lue. She is a full-time blogger and influencer, while Max is a chalk artist. The family lives in the woods and live a very outdoor, bohemian, natural lifestyle.

Her Instagram aesthetic is top notch and has garnered her over 125,000 followers. Her posts showcase her life as a mom, a wife and a blogger. You can expect seeing videos of their family meditations, her foraging in the forest for food and lots of family pictures. Almost every post has a paragraph-long caption.

In May, Holmgren released her first cookbook, Tales From a Forager’s Kitchen. The book is centered on ingredients that you can forage from the forest on your own. Foraging is something she does all the time. She regularly posts about eating food from her garden and foraging.

During the time her book came out she made a post about how she foraged wild ramps, clovers, plantain, lilacs, dandelion, violets, pine stinging nettle and morels. She wrote about how her daughters help her forage for foods.

View this post on Instagram

Do you feel like foraging is too overwhelming? This week alone, we foraged wild ramps, clovers, plantain, lilacs, dandelion, violets, pine, stinging nettle, and morels are right around the corner. Foraging is absolutely so tangible and provokes such curiosity and learning and wonder for the girls and us both. Beginning all the way at the basics of a dandelion plant…it’s been around and torn up season after season, but when you look closer you see this absolutely beautiful species. Bright vibrant petals, crisp green leaves and a solid satiable root. All edible in different forms through each season and I can’t help but feel like it’s that very basic level idea of perspective. Shifting a perspective to look at the same thing, with a different light, can actually change what it is that we are seeing. Currently on my stove are three pots, one of which has dandelion syrup for a cocktail, one is for a dandelion jam and the other on the counter next to it is a simple rinsing of the leaves for a salad and roots for a tea. It’s incredible for the bones, filled with Vitamin K and A, cleanses the liver and bursting with antioxidants. Wondrous and curious and so full of discovery, offering nutrients to insects, butterflies and us! Ahh! Genuinely magical! Have you eaten or harvested dandelion? Would you try it? 🌼

A post shared by Freedom Forest ( on

Morels, an ingredient she listed that she forages for, is one of the concerns about her new cookbooks. Readers have grown concerned that some of her recipes include toxic and unsafe to eat foraged food. They’ve been leaving concerned Amazon comments about her recipes.

The Dark Chocolate Dipped Fungi recipe is raising eyebrows. The recipe tells readers to use “two cups of in-season foraged mushrooms,” wash them, place on parchment paper, dip in melted chocolate, sprinkle salt and rose petals and place in the fridge to cool.

The recipe suggests which mushrooms to use and recommends morels among other varieties.

View this post on Instagram

We are the only species born with an un-developed brain. We come in with that little soft spot, our skull is making room for the brain to grow those first three years. And how does the brain grow? Love. Everyone’s brain grows on love. You can literally see it now on scans that when people are well loved, their brain grows bigger and better and more connected, which totally makes sense because they’re in growth mode— not stress and protection mode. So from the way humans are designed, at the core, we are designed to love. If you didn’t get that love from the people who are supposed to love you the most, you walk about feeling, “Am I lovable? Am I lovable?” You’re not responsible for what happened to you, but you are responsible to yourself to try to move past it. To one day wake up and say, I deserve in this lifetime, to feel lovable. To be whole. When you realize you’re responsible for your own self esteem, it’s a very empowered place. That your thoughts are your own now. That you are worthy and enough just as you are. Flip the script in your brain. How do you love yourself in a way that it grows the muscle in your brain? Thoughts are medicine. So when you’re speaking gracefully to yourself, you’re actually changing your neurochemistry. Who you surround yourself with matters. There are three types of friends: The type that brings you down. The one’s who keep you stagnant. Then there’s a spiritual elevator up. As you become healthier, your vibe attracts your tribe. A healthy partnership is the best therapy. Being seen and loved, wholely for who you are. Someone who loves you at the height of your ugliesness and acting out, they see you as lovable. Not, “if you don’t behave, I’m going to slam the door.. or walk out.. or abandon.” This is the way to love a child. Not contingent upon performance or obedience, but with a beautiful unconditional love that they deserve and everybody deserves. -Dr. Robin Berman YES.

A post shared by Freedom Forest ( on

The problem is that morels, when eaten raw, can make someone sick. Clearly, in the Dark Chocolate Dipped Fungi recipe, the morels aren’t being cooked. BuzzFeed cites the Michigan Department of Community Health that consuming raw, true morels will result in “nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain lasting less than 24 hours.”

The reason behind the negative side effects is that there is chitin in the cell walls of mushrooms. It’s the same thing that is in the exoskeleton of crabs, shrimp and other insects. So naturally, when chitin is ingested, it’s not going to go well.

But when a mushroom is cooked, the chitin breaks down, which is why you can eat morels if they’re cooked.

Holmgren and her publisher, Rodale Books, released a statement to BuzzFeed. They’re “taking the discussion about [Holmgren’s] book very seriously” and that they’re “reviewing its text closely.”


Holmgren’s book has been pulled by publishers and currently isn’t available for purchase. The blogger posted on Instagram addressing the scandal.

“I am devastated by the quick collapse of my cookbook project that was so incredibly intertwined with my heart. I cannot share the entirety of the story or my personal relationship with these ingredients and I know full well that these words still won’t be enough for many of you. I will always treasure these past two and a half years as a really special and unique time in our life. I can say that the way this unfolded, has hurt more than I can articulate. When the girls get older, I want to sit down and tell them the true story. Not what’s being printed in the news and not the hateful comments by strangers. I am taking a deep breath and releasing this project into the universe and choosing to continue to deepen my connection with others and the world around me. I do want to believe that there is good to come from this all!”

Five days after her post addressing the cookbook scandal, Holmgren posted that her family is selling their home. She didn’t talk about why her family is moving or where they’re moving to.


  • 10614935101348454