A farming experiment at the University of California, Davis, has found that organically grown tomatoes are richer in certain kinds of flavonoids than conventionally grown tomatoes. And one researcher is curious to determine why this may be.

Stephen Kaffka cut his teeth in organic gardening when he was a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the late 1960s. He was involved in running the now-renowned student garden there, a task that was both intellectually satisfying and physically challenging. “It was a great time,” he recalls.

Kaffka went on to get a Ph.D. in agronomy. Now, one of his latest interests has taken him back to his organic roots — a desire to figure out if the way we grow things can actually make food more nutritious.

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