In more than 25 years as an award-winning food editor and columnist at the Los Angeles Times, Russ Parsons wrote about the ins and outs of food and farming. Before taking the stage at the Zócalo/UCLA event “What’s So Bad About GMOs?” Parsons sat in the green room and explained why he’s like a Green Goddess.
What salad dressing best describes you?
I’m going to say Green Goddess because it’s a native Californian dressing. It’s herbal and tangy and a little bit sour. It’s got anchovies too, and anything with anchovies I’m all down for.
What’s hanging on your refrigerator?
Family pictures, of course. And aside the refrigerator is a little note from Julia Child, telling me how much she loves the L.A. Times food section. And there’s a note that’s my wife’s mantra for getting through our daughter’s [upcoming] wedding: Things don’t have to be perfect to be great.
What’s the worst city you’ve ever lived in?
Lubbock, Texas. Worst and in some ways the best. Horrible newspaper, horrible place, but a great local music scene. Some of my very best friends are from there.
If you could legalize one crime, which would you choose?
Crime or moral failing? Moral failings I’m really big on. Crimes not so much.
Who is your favorite Rolling Stone?
Charlie Watts, probably. He’s highly underrated. Keith Richards because I’m a frustrated guitar player. The way he and Charlie Watts played together was the bedrock of the sound.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Oatmeal with dried fruit and a cappuccino.
What is the ugliest tie you own?
My wife is on the board of Mental Health America and they have a signature tie. I have no idea where it came from, but it’s polyester with bright yellow duckies. You have to bid for it. I paid $300 for the most butt ugly polyester tie you could imagine.
What’s your favorite plant?
Depends on the season. Right now I’d say the Meyer lemon or my tangelo tree in the backyard. I’m excited for citrus to start. That’s the kind of thing food people do. They get excited for citrus. Then they get excited for asparagus.