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# The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards

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Manager
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16 Jan 2011, 18:41
rkassal wrote:
Don't overlook the word "misleading". The stimulus says that irradiation does not deplete the food of Vit B1 anymore than what cooking does. Okay, but what if the irradiated food is supposed to be cooked and not eaten raw? E says that depletion of Vit. B1 increases as the effect of irradiation and cooking on Vit B1 is additive. This implies that irradiation of food that needs to be cooked makes Vit B1 lower than just irradiated food or just cooked food. So, irradiating certain kinds of foods could make matters worse for Vit B1.
Hence, E it is.

Great explanation.

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17 Jan 2011, 17:39
The key here is to breakdown the last sentence, "However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since _______." An easy way to do this is:

This fact is either:
-beside the point: because much irradiated food is eaten raw

The author is trying to attack proponents of irradiation point, that "irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking." In the first part of the sentence, he attacked the proponents of irradiated food by saying that much irradiated food is eaten raw. To complete his argument, he must say something about irradiated food that is cooked, thus E is clearly the answer
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12 Apr 2011, 11:44
good explanation from gmat tool kit
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13 Aug 2011, 19:26
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billnepill wrote:
TriColor wrote:
-----------------------------------------

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a significant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may contain. Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since _______.

A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life
B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods
D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

I don't understand how the compounded reduction of vitamin B1 done by both processes makes the argument by the proponents of irradiation misleading.

Proponents point out :
Quote:
Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking.

It might be the case that irradiation reduces B1 levels by 10 % and cooking by 50 % totaling 60 % reduction. That would mean, proponents are right. Irradiation isn't worse than cooking.
The author seems to accept the possibility that proponents would have to be implying that there is no additional reduction of vitamin B1 when products undergo both processes. In other words, the harm done by irradiation, would not be significant since cooking will do much more. Hence, their argument is misleading.

However, there are no grounds for this reasoning of the author, since arguments about both irradiated and cooked products weren't made by the proponents. Furthermore, as the author pointed out, much of the irradiated food is eaten raw, making the possibility of
Quote:
Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking.

Gosh, I sound like a proponent of irradiation because of this question! :D

I too had a hard time understanding it, but after multiple posts and crossing of thoughts, I feel this is the best answer.

Understand this

Proponents say - Irradiated is no worse than cooking. that means, "if" irradiated ( and not cooked ) it will reduce the amount of vitamins from food, and thereby do what normal cooking does to the food.

The option says, "WHAT IF IRRADIATED FOOD HAS TO BE COOKED" ?

DO WE COOK FOOD TWICE TO EAT IT ? NO !

then why should we irradiate and then cook it, if they are doing the same purpose ?

therefore the proponents are missing this valid point where irradiated food has to be cooked as well

therefore irradiation is NOT SIMILAR to cooking. It is a process, which may or may not require cooking.

Case 1 : doesnt require cooking -- beside the point, coz proponents say it is similar to cooking
Case 2 : requires cooking -- misleading coz it will reduce the food even more than "COOKING ALONE" would have done.

Makes sense ?
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21 Aug 2011, 01:57
this is a combination of tricky question and subtle answer. Just wonder what is the level of this question?
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21 Aug 2011, 01:59
sap wrote:
billnepill wrote:
TriColor wrote:
-----------------------------------------

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a significant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may contain. Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since _______.

A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life
B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods
D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

I don't understand how the compounded reduction of vitamin B1 done by both processes makes the argument by the proponents of irradiation misleading.

Proponents point out :
Quote:
Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking.

It might be the case that irradiation reduces B1 levels by 10 % and cooking by 50 % totaling 60 % reduction. That would mean, proponents are right. Irradiation isn't worse than cooking.
The author seems to accept the possibility that proponents would have to be implying that there is no additional reduction of vitamin B1 when products undergo both processes. In other words, the harm done by irradiation, would not be significant since cooking will do much more. Hence, their argument is misleading.

However, there are no grounds for this reasoning of the author, since arguments about both irradiated and cooked products weren't made by the proponents. Furthermore, as the author pointed out, much of the irradiated food is eaten raw, making the possibility of
Quote:
Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking.

Gosh, I sound like a proponent of irradiation because of this question! :D

I too had a hard time understanding it, but after multiple posts and crossing of thoughts, I feel this is the best answer.

Understand this

Proponents say - Irradiated is no worse than cooking. that means, "if" irradiated ( and not cooked ) it will reduce the amount of vitamins from food, and thereby do what normal cooking does to the food.

The option says, "WHAT IF IRRADIATED FOOD HAS TO BE COOKED" ?

DO WE COOK FOOD TWICE TO EAT IT ? NO !

then why should we irradiate and then cook it, if they are doing the same purpose ?

therefore the proponents are missing this valid point where irradiated food has to be cooked as well

therefore irradiation is NOT SIMILAR to cooking. It is a process, which may or may not require cooking.

Case 1 : doesnt require cooking -- beside the point, coz proponents say it is similar to cooking
Case 2 : requires cooking -- misleading coz it will reduce the food even more than "COOKING ALONE" would have done.

Makes sense ?

good explanation..
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26 Nov 2011, 04:51
tricky question
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10 Aug 2012, 16:03
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TriColor wrote:
-----------------------------------------

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a significant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may contain. Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since _______.

A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life
B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods
D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

There is already a lot of discussion here on what the correct answer is, so I won't go into that. I also originally got "C" even though it was wrong. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out WHY I made the mistake and what was it about the question that misdirected me so much. There have been far too many times that I've just forced an explanation down my throat when I got a question wrong. The result? The lesson doesn't stick when I re-do the question, and it doesn't help me apply the lessons to other questions. Here are my thoughts and lessons from this question; I hope they help others see a more natural way of seeing the right answer.

"Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is..."

Ah! Upon much reflection, this is what I missed. In CR passages, we're almost always trying to find the conclusion. In this case we have the anti-conclusion...the central point that we are trying to dispute. I really needed to think about this fact deeply to see the "natural" reason why 'E' is the right answer.

The anti-conclusion that we want to dispute is: "Irradiation is no worse than cooking."

Basically, we do not like the comparison that's drawn there. It implies that irradiation is the same as cooking or maybe even better than cooking!

We want to say no! This is not true! We're therefore only left with options C & E.

Option C is in many ways just an expansion of the first sentence:
"The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage"..."irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods." So it doesn't add much to the argument. And besides, is this what the author is really trying to dispute here? No! The author wants to dispute the unequal comparison between irradiation and cooking with respect to how it lowers the nutritional value of the food.

Therefore C cannot be the right answer! We are left with E. And "E" is indeed the correct answer because it properly does help us understand why irradiation and cooking are NOT the same thing with respect to lowering of the nutritional value (although not perfectly, but we are not looking for a perfect answer).

The key takeaway
Understanding the argument thoroughly is the most important thing to do. Mindlessly jumping to the answer choices with just the hope of arriving at the right answer choice might get us through sometimes, but as we prepare for the test, this focus on proper understanding will help us go a longer way.
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Which of the following most logically completes the argument [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2013, 05:44

The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of
many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a signifi cant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may
contain. Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this
fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since .
(A) many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from foods’ having a longer shelf life
(B) it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
(C) cooking is usually the fi nal step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a
longer shelf life for perishable foods
(D) certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled
(E) for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process
individually is compounded
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Re: Which of the following most logically completes the argument [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2013, 16:38
Answer is E, because according to proponents of irradiation, the latter is no worse than cooking (reducing Vit B1), but "E" states that both cooking and irradiation equally reduce vitamin B1.
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25 Apr 2013, 16:50
Merged similar post

use the search button or google to find similar questions. They are your best friends

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05 May 2013, 10:21
This is a tough one.
The idea is to understand that we cannot compare the two methods stated in the argument - Irradiation & cooking.
This is evident from the marker however, .... misleading since _____. So, proponents say that irradiation is no worse than cooking, however ...... misleading bcoz ___?? What could be misleading?? proponents saying that irradiation is no worse than cooking.

A) sooo out of scope
B) is irrelevant to what we are looking for.
C) Trap answer. we are looking for something that is misleading and not details abut cooking and irradiation
D) Again, comparison which we arenot interested in.
E) fits in nice.
"proponents say that irrad. is no worse than cooking, however ... misleading since when you do both the effects of B1 destruction is compounded". Makes sense.
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18 Sep 2013, 21:54
The fact is beside the point SINCE Much of IRR. FOOD is eaten raw.

Since much is EATEN RAW why to compare it with the cooking at first place.

Furthermore , the FACT that IRR is no WORSE than COOKING is misleading because the combined effect of COOKING+IRR. is even worst.

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18 Dec 2013, 07:24
TriColor wrote:
The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a significant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may contain. Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw, or else misleading, since _______.

Which of the following most logically completes the argument?

A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life
B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods
D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

Hi Verbal Experts,
Can you please let me know what should be the proper reasoning for the correct answer E? It appears to me as the best one in the lot because others are wrong!
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05 Jan 2014, 13:47
My question is more on understanding the usage of sentence here..
Does
"this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw"
mean that
"the fact is either supporting the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw"
?
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06 Jan 2014, 01:16
My interpretation of the proponents' counter....
(1) All food is cooked and zapped of its nutrition
(2) Once a food loses its nutrition through one process, there is not much more damage that can be done by the next....(so, whats the harm in irradiation if it just going to be cooked anyhow,,,and because either initial process will have already depleted most of the nutrition, what is the harm in subjecting it to the next?....)
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21 Mar 2014, 00:24
Verbal Experts,

Please dare to explain this one as to why the answer is (E) not through POE but by proper line of reasoning.

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21 Mar 2014, 04:57
I'm not verbal expert.. But let me give a shot at it...

First, I really do think that POE is the best way to approcah this questions. That being said I'll try to justify why E is the answer (After eliminating other choices by POE - since all the other choices are completely irrelevant or too extreme).

There are people who say that irradiation is no worse than cooking or in other words they are saying "You can irradiate your food rather than cook it since both destroy similar amounts of B1 vitamins."

So in effect, they are saying that cooking and irradiation are mutually exclusive processes. Option E addresses this by saying that if both processes are applied on the same food a lot more vitamin B1 is lost.

i.e. For eg : 2 hours of cooking food results in lesser vitamin B1 being destroyed than 1 hour cooking + 1 hour irradiation
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19 May 2014, 01:50
Not very intuitive question at all. Because the whole context was trying to contrast the two. While the last sentence is combining both methods.:S
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22 May 2014, 22:38
tedchou12 wrote:
Not very intuitive question at all. Because the whole context was trying to contrast the two. While the last sentence is combining both methods.:S

Hi,

Yes, you are right. The argument was comparing the two and the option statement is talking about when both work together. So, we cannot have a rule around this such as "if the passage is comparing two things, we cannot talk about the effect of a combination of these two things".

This is actually the beauty of GMAT CR, which is a test of common sense logic rather than formal logic.

I think below question may throw more light on the same issue:

installing-scrubbers-in-smokestacks-and-switching-to-58530.html

Thanks
Chiranjeev
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards   [#permalink] 22 May 2014, 22:38

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