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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > July 2019 > EUELL GIBBONS

EUELL GIBBONS

REMEMBERING ONE OF THE MOST PROLIFIC AND POPULAR PROPONENTS OF FORAGING
The humble hickory nut—an essential part of the ad campaign that helped make Euell Gibbons familiar to almost every American household in the 1970s.
(Photo: Wag!)

In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, a wave of ecological and “back to the land” awareness swept the country.

This period saw the rise of the incredibly popular Mother Earth News magazine, communes…and Euell Gibbons.

Euell Gibbons was a man of modest means who loved to fish and forage and always wanted to be a writer. Aspiring to be a novelist, his first work was about a man who tried to live off the land by eating common weeds that grow everywhere.

But Gibbons’ publisher told him to rewrite the book as a guidebook for identifying these wayside plants: Stalking the Wild Asparagus, first published in 1962, became a best-seller in the early 1970s, along with several other books.

By 1974, Gibbons began to capitalize on his popularity and became the frontman for Post Grape Nuts—a cereal that contained no grapes and no nuts (although Gibbons said it reminded him of wild hickory nuts). The Post company flew Gibbons around the country to make many of these commercials in diverse areas. Gibbons would be brandishing a pine cone, cattails or goldenrod flowers and would often be shown having cereal with a group at their outdoor breakfast table. Of course, they’d be eating Grape Nuts. The commercial would end with Gibbons’ final and famous line, “Reminds me of wild hickory nuts.”

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American Survival Guide July 2019, How-To : Fire Protection 101, Decoding The Signals of Civil Unrest, Hydration Filtration + Suncompass Solar Nav, And More...