LORELAI: So, are you a healthy eater like Luke?
JESS: No. No one’s a healthy eater like Luke. Euell Gibbons wasn’t a healthy eater like Luke … Many parts of a pine tree are edible.
Euell Gibbons (1911-1975), outdoorsman and early health food advocate. He promoted eating wild food during the 1960s, having begun foraging for food as a teenager to supplement the family diet. His books on wild food were instant successes, and he became a celebrity, appearing on TV shows such as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and The Carol Burnett Show, often good-naturedly sending himself up by pretending to eat wooden plaques and so on.
A 1974 television commercial for Grape-Nuts cereal featured Gibbons asking viewers “Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible.” While he recommended eating Grape Nuts over eating pine trees (Grape Nuts’ taste “reminds me of wild hickory nuts”), the quote caught the public’s imagination and fuelled his celebrity status.
How Jess knows about Euell Gibbons and the advertisement, which was broadcast ten years before Jess was born, is a mystery. Teenagers seem to have an amazing knowledge of 1960s and 1970s pop culture in the Gilmore Girls world.