Q: I know it is a subject of much debate, but don't you get more vitamins from vegetables that are organically grown? -- H.C., Monterey Park
A: Most researchers have verified that food values--including vitamins--are comparable regardless of the fertilizer used. From a soil-quality standpoint, however, organic fertilizers increase water-holding capacity, facilitate filtration of water throughout the root zone and encourage soil aeration. As far as vitamin content is concerned, studies indicate that that is a matter of genetics. And it means that plant breeders are able to develop high-vitamin varieties. Keep in mind that freshness is important in maintaining nutritional value. Time and method of harvesting, temperature control and speed of handling are critical.