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Q. Dear Umbra,

Have there been any studies done on the nutrient value of food that has been cooked via microwave, oven, or stovetop? For example: broccoli? Someone said microwaves destroy 90 percent of the nutrients in the food, versus steaming on the top of the stove where the loss is only 10 percent. We have been going back to basic, non-processed food that we grow ourselves. I usually only use the microwave to defrost or reheat … but am I reducing the food value?

The Farmer’s Wife
Cotati, Calif.

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A. Dearest FW,

It looks like Cotati is in the midst of an interesting downtown revitalization debate. This has nothing to do with your vegetables, but it has a lot to do with the nutrient value of your daily life. I like to see cities thinking hard about how and where they grow.