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The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe

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The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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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

Originally posted by icandy on 16 Feb 2009, 12:21.
Last edited by Bunuel on 26 Oct 2018, 02:18, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2014, 20:44
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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



Whenever an argument presents two sides, think of it as an ongoing debate. First the Pro side puts forward its arguments. Then the against side points out weaknesses or puts forward counter arguments. Option (E) fits perfectly into the argument.

Proponents of irradiation: Irradiation has effects similar to cooking. It is as bad as cooking is (which to most people is acceptable). You lose nutrients in cooking just as you lose them in irradiation. Hence, don't be concerned about irradiation. You would have anyway cooked the food and hence the vitamin would have been lost.

Author's counter argument (starts with However): This fact (the fact that irradiation is just like cooking) is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw (which means that we would not have cooked that food and hence the nutrients would not have been lost. They are lost because of irradiation), or else misleading, since _______.
for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded
(which means that the food that is cooked after irradiation loses even more nutrients than food that is only cooked)

Hence the author is saying that irradiation is bad and we need to be concerned.

The other options do not make sense with this argument.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 23:30
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Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse than cooking when it comes to lowering the nutritional value of food. However, the author concludes that this fact is either beside the point or misleading.

The author explains that this fact can be beside the point since much irradiated food is eaten raw. Take raw vegetables for example:

  • A proponent of irradiation might say, "Yes, irradiating the vegetables will lower the nutritional value. However, cooking the vegetables would have the same effect, so who cares?" In other words, if you are going to cook your food anyway, you are going to lower the nutritional value by the same amount that irradiation would lower it.
  • But what if you eat most of your vegetables raw (without cooking them)? In that case, you'd either be eating irradiated vegetables with lower nutritional value or non-irradiated vegetables with higher nutritional value (though more susceptible to spoilage).
  • Thus, the fact that cooking and irradiating have the same effect would be "beside the point" and wouldn't make you feel any better if you were concerned about nutrition.

The author does not, however, explain how that fact could be misleading. Given the structure of the sentence, we are likely looking for an answer choice that shows how the proponents' claim (that irradiation is no worse than cooking when it comes to lowering the nutritional value of food) could be misleading:

Quote:
(A) many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life

Choice (A) explains why the proponents might be motivated to defend irradiation. This might explain why the proponents would make a misleading statement, but it does not explain why the statement is in fact misleading. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has

We need to specifically address the claim that irradiation is no worse than cooking when it comes to lowering the nutritional value of food. Choice (B) might suggest that irradiation could have other adverse effects. Regardless, we need to show how the proponents' claim is misleading. Choice (B) does not help and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods

This additional information about cooking and irradiation does not explain why the proponents' claim is misleading. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is

This fact is already implied in the passage: "Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking." The author does not dispute that cooking can be worse. In fact, the author's wording suggests that cooking usually is worse. Choice (D) simply strengthens the point made by the proponents, and that's not what we are looking for. We need something that explains why the proponents' claim is misleading. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

Remember the first bullet point above: "Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking." So if irradiating your food lowers the nutritional value by some amount and cooking your food lowers the nutritional value by approximately the same amount, why worry about irradiation? If you are going to cook your food, you are going to lower the nutritional value by that amount anyway, so don't worry about the effect of irradiation.

But what if each process INDEPENDENTLY lowers the nutritional value by that amount? In other words, if irradiating your food lowers the nutritional value by some amount, a proponent might say, "Well, cooking the food would have lowered the nutrition by that amount anyway, so who cares?" But what if cooking that irradiated food FURTHER lowers the nutritional value? Now you have lost TWICE as much nutrition as you would have with only one of those processes.

If each process could only lower the nutritional value to some level but not any further, then the proponents' argument would hold. For example, if we've already lowered the nutrition with irradiation, perhaps cooking won't lower it any further. Choice (E) tells us that this is not the case. If we've already lowered the nutritional value with irradiation, cooking will STILL lower the nutritional value even further (by approximately the same amount). Thus, we have compounded the problem, and, from a nutritional perspective, we would have been better off without irradiation.

Choice (E) explains how the proponents claim can be misleading, so it is the best answer.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2009, 17:03
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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

IMO - E

We need to complete the last senetnce is - "However, this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is ten raw, or else misleading, since _______."


What is the Fact here? Fact is Irriadiation is no worse than cooking. Cooking destroys the Vitamin B1. Irriadiation also destroys VB1. Conslusion made is Irriadation is no worse than cooking. By taking this conclusion a customer should think that if irriadation is done then there is NO issue and customer should buy irridiated food.

So as per the last sentence if irridiated food is eaten Raw then it will have less VB1 but it is still ok because after cooking also some VB is reduced. So if you eat raw irridated food then it is fine, OTHERWISE you are misleaded because after cooking you have VB1 reduced by irridiated and VB2 recuded by cooking. So irridation is making food more worse after cooking.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2009, 23:58
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Nice question. Here is my understanding...

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
_______.
Proponents say: irradiation = cooking
But fact is:-
above statement is
1) beside the point - WHY?
because: much irradiated food is eaten raw - Ok, so if we are consuming RAW, there will be no point to do such comparison. Hence, indeed beside the point.
2) misleading - WHY?
because:
A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life
- Not talking why misleading
B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
- Not talking why misleading
C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods
- Not talking why misleading, rather going too far and stating some other aspect
D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
- Not talking why misleading. Certain kinds of cooking are horrible but how can that extrapolate the comparison.
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded
- E misleads people who cook foods after irradiation. E says that people actually get no nutrition (B1) from those food...
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2009, 02:53
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here there is a need to prove that argument "irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking" is misleading.

3 foods: (there could be more but that would be out of scope)

radiated + not cooked(raw) - covered in "this fact is either beside the point, since much irradiated food is eaten raw"
only cooked - (not relevant I think in this context, as effect of radiation can't be estimated or compared.
radiated + cooking - This is the one we need to look into as in option E.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2009, 05:46
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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.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2012, 15:03
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TriColor wrote:
Please, explain your answer. Thank you,
-----------------------------------------

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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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2012, 16:02
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metallicafan 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

By POE, I agree with the OA. However, I have this doubt:
Although it seems a strengthen question, this is a weaken question because we have to show that the point of the proponents of irradiation is wrong.
In this sense, we have to weaken the conclusion: "irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking". In other words, we have to show that irradiation destroys a higher percentage of vitamin B1.
Choice E indicates that irradiating and cooking the food destroys more vitamin B1 than either of those processes alone. However, this choice just shows that the compound effect is bigger or higher, it doesn't show that irradiating is worse than cooking if we comparing them individually.

Please, your help.
Hi metallicafan,

The proponents conclusion isn't that irradiation is "no worse than cooking." The proponents conclusion is that irradiation is good and beneficial, a claim that they support with the evidence that irradiation is no worse than cooking. Our task is to complete the author's argument--how can we weaken the assumption linking the proponents evidence to their conclusion? (E) does exactly that, pointing out that even if irradiating and cooking are comparable, doing both is worse than either alone!
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2014, 21:40
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talismaaniac wrote:
How can E be the answer because according to me, it only supports. Proponents state that 'irradiation is no worse than cooking', i.e., it is equal to or less than cooking.
E states that 'harmful effects of either irradiation or cooking, individually, are compounding.' i.e., both have same kind of effect, both are harmful equally, i.e. irradiation is no worse??? no differentiation.????


Hello,
The completed argument needs to suggest that the perspective that "irradiation of food is no less harmful than cooking" is misleading.
Let's look at the answer options:

Option A talks about the supporters of irradiated food : Irrelevant - Eliminate
Option B does not clearly specify if this effect is a negative or a positive one - Eliminate
Option C does not specify the significance (negative) of irradiation - Eliminate
Option D This option clearly goes against the intention of the argument - Eliminate
Option E This suggests that when foods are both cooked and irradiated nutrition loss is compounded, This fits well in context as one of the aspects discussed is that of eating the food raw and the other should be about cooked food. And here we realise that irradiating cooked food is more harmful than just cooking food (more nutrients lost)

Hope that helps,
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2014, 21:38
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 :)
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2015, 01:03
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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



This one is little to get at first go.
I think that besides being a logically complete type question it is also a strengthener/weakener type question :-D :-D :-D
I think so because we need to support the views of the anti-irradiation brigade and weaken the views of pro-irradiation brigade. (... brigade sounds good :) :) )
The correct option must provide additional information.

The keywords to note are-' SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE'.

The pro-irradiation brigade states that cooking also destroys a significant percentage vitamin B1.
So as per pro-irradiation brigade ,a food that is to be cooked might as well be irradiated because in any case cooking will destroy significant percentage of vitamin B1.
So whether food is irradiated or not, cooking will anyway significantly destroy vitamin B1.
So even if irradiation does that damage to raw food there is no harm because the vitamins were in anyway going to get destroyed by cooking.And NOTHING SIGNIFICANT of vitamin B1 will remain.

The anti-irradiation brigade counters the above argument by stating two things-
1. The argument is besides the point ( meaning =the pro-irradiation argument is irrelevant) because much irradiated food is eaten raw --which has already suffered damage to its vitamin B1 content due to irradiation. So cooking irradiated raw food is irrelevant because irradiated food is eaten raw.

OR

2.The argument is misleading ( meaning = pro-irradiation brigade is making false claim)-

A. many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life-

This option wants us to assume that since many proponents are food distributors so they are likely to make false claim. This is clearly out of scope because we simply can't say that some is telling a lie because he is telling a lie.:) :) We have no info. to assume that the food distributors have made false claims about irradiated food in the past and continue to do so.....OUT OF SCOPE.

B. it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has-

This option does not bring any ADDITIONAL INFO. .The passage has already stated the above information.

C. cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods

This is a typical incorrect comparison choice. A typical GMAT wrong option trap.Also, this is no way tells that the claim made by the pro-irradiation brigade is misleading.

D. certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is

This is actually a weakener.This option weakens the stand taken by the anti-irradiation brigade.

E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

Aha!!! This is the correct option. This option clearly states that cooking destroys vitamin B1 in addition to irradiation.This option tells us that even after significant damage by irradiation to vitamin B1 , cooking damages the remaining vitamin B1 further.


The pro-irradiation argument is-

X causes 20% damage to A
Y causes 20% damage to A
X + Y = 20 % damage to A

Hope the above analysis is helpul.

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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2015, 00:03
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RaviChandra wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma your solution is the only solution that made sense to me.

Im still left with one Question .

Our Aim in this question is to Negate this. "Proponents of irradiation point out that irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking"

All the explanations (and even my thought process) were trying to say Cooking doesn't reduce the vitamins in the food. Its only your solution that says - Cooking also reduces the vitamins , but Irradiation is still worse.

Because its either Irradiated and eaten Raw or Irradiated + cooked. - great totally makes sense.



My Question comes here.

Irradiated food eaten Raw Vs Cooked Food. : with Our analysis we know both reduce vitamins. So does that mean for atleast few scenarios both reduce vitamins , so irradiated food is no worse than cooked food (for this scenario) ?


Yes that is correct but note that the author is comparing irradiated food with food that is not irradiated. He is against irradiation and we have to find the option that suits his opinion. He says that irradiation being no worse than cooking is EITHER beside the point because we would not have cooked that food anyway (e.g. apples - we eat them raw. If we irradiate them, their nutrition value decreases and hence irradiation is bad) OR misleading because we still cook after irradiation (e.g. brinjal - cooking reduces nutrition but irradiation + cooking reduces even more nutrition). So the author is saying that in any case, irradiation is bad.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2016, 03:23
BobbyAssassinCross wrote:
can anyone explain further as to how E is the answer?



Hi,
the part we are interested in answering is
Quote:
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_________.


Quote:
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


1) When we say MISLEADING, the reason has to be concerned with BOTH cooking and irradiation..
So, you can eliminate Choices which do not fall in this category.- A and B can be eliminated

2) The reason has to be against the point of proponents that there is equal damage of nutrients in two process -cooking and irradiation..
So , any choice not falling in this category can be eliminated...
C does not speak of common effect..
D is rather strengthening proponent's views..

Left is E..
what is it doing-

Quote:
E. for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded..

We have already spoken of the food that is eaten RAW that the comparison is not valid in these foods..
BUT what about irradiated food that is cooked. This food has a compounded effect -- radiation lost due to cooking and then further loss due to irradiation

so saying that irradiation has the same effect as cooking has is misleading. Because irradiation doubles the loss
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2016, 04:06
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BobbyAssassinCross wrote:
Hi Chetan,

I will note your point about misleading meaning both cooking and irradiation... But when we say that irradiation is doubling the effect of cooking, it is only doing so when combined with cooking, but not on its own. Should this point not be out of scope then?

Thank you.



We are looking at irradiated food...the proponent says that irradiated food has the same effect as cooking,

1) first it can be RAW food ..
a) we say the comparison is not valid, as the effects of cooking cannot be compared and
b) WHAT we were eating without irradiation had MORE B1, as Ir.. is effecting food

2) second it is cooked food.. the proponent says that irradiated food has the same effect as cooking..
But the irradiation can be done ONLY on cooked food here, so the LOSS due to cooking cannot be avoided, BUT we are ensuring another loss of SAME amount of B1 by Irradiation... AND then proponents claim that both are equal..
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2018, 09:46
The tone of the last sentence is negative. So, we have to look for an answer choice that states a negative aspect about irradiation.

(A) many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from food’s having a longer shelf life - Irrelevant

(B) it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has - Opposite.

(C) cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable foods - Opposite.

(D) certain kinds of cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is - Irrelevant

(E) for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded - Correct

Answer: E
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2018, 08:18
+1 for option E. My take:

This question asks us to complete the argument. The argument says that irradiation kills bacteria and retards spoilage. There is a disadvantage however associated with this method i.e. Vitamin B1 getting destroyed. Proponents claim that no worse than cooking in this regard. i.e, cooking is similar to irradiation or even worse. The author however feels that the aforementioned point is either beside the point or misleading. Why is it misleading ? The answer to this question lies in the correct answer option.

Pre-think :

Think of an option that proves that the proponent's stand is misleading.

POE :

Option a: Irrelevant
Option b : Goes against the "misleading direction !"
Option c : We are not concerned about the shelf life
Option d : We are concerned about irradiation and not about cooking
Option e : Convoluted looking choice .. but look at it. It says that if you both cook and irradiate the food , reduction in B1 associated with either process is compounded. This makes the proponents statement appear misleading. Hence this is close to our line of reasoning.

Hence option E is the correct answer.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 14:18
Okay, let's take this baby down. Some explanations in this forum focus exclusively on how to answer specific, isolated questions. But remember: the GMAT is a critical-thinking test. For those of you studying for the GMAT, you will want to internalize strategies that help you to identify and solve entire classes of questions. Pattern recognition is key. The tactics I will show you here will be useful for numerous questions, not just this one. This solution is going to walk through not just what the answer is, but how to strategically think about it. Here is the full "GMAT Jujitsu" for this question:

This problem highlights a common tactic of the GMAT: trying to hide what type of question it actually is. In this case, the question stem is vague enough you can’t really tell what problem type it is. At first glance, the phrase "most logically completes the argument" makes this sound like the question is looking for a conclusion, but this is not the case at all. We must fill in the blank. With such “Fill in the Blank” type questions, there is a strategy that helps you to identify the problem type. I call this “Find the Flow” in my classes. In the original problem, you can see that the stimulus ends with an underlined portion, preceded by the word “since.” “Since” is a type of leverage word I call a “Conclusion Conjunction.” While such words are directly attached to the conclusion, they actually precede a premise used to support the conclusion. Thus, when the stimulus says, “This fact… is misleading, since _____”, our conclusion is “the fact is misleading”, and the phrase that fills in the blank is a supporting premise. Remember: premises support conclusions.

Since we are looking for a missing premise, we know that this is a “Strengthen” question type. This defines our strategy, because it tells us we are looking for an answer choice that strengthens or justifies the conclusion. We need to focus on what the problem is asking. In this case, we are looking for a statement that explains why the statement “irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking” is actually “misleading.” That becomes the logical gap on which we need to focus.

Let’s look at the answer choices, “minding that gap.”

Answer choice “A” falls to connect the logical dots. Talking about the motives of “food distributors” is a classic ad hominem attack. It attacks the potential motives of the proponents of the food distributors instead of focusing on the actual logic. "A" does nothing to explain why it would be "misleading" to say that irradiation is the same as cooking.

Answer choice “B” tries to use your own biases against you. A beautiful trap with this question is that it tempts your brain to start filling in extra information. Some test takers see the word “irradiation” and start thinking of nuclear bombs and mutant, three-headed dogs (arguably making irradiation “worse than cooking.”) But such effects are not mentioned in the question stem. And, even if they were, the focus of the question is on why it is misleading to say that irradiation is no worse than cooking when it comes to lowering the nutritional value of foods. Other possible effects that are unrelated to lowering the nutritional value are irrelevant here. In my classes, I call these types of traps "Distracting Detours" because such answer choices not only make us imply extra information not specifically mentioned in the question but also get us focused on other things besides the specific logical gap. Answer choice “B” can be eliminated.

Answer choice “C” also fails to mind the logical gap. The fact that cooking and irradiation serve different purposes doesn’t explain why irradiation is somehow worse than just cooking. This doesn’t show the proponents’ claim is "misleading."

Answer choice “D” goes the opposite direction of what we want (another classic GMAT fake-out.) It tells us that some cooking is “more destructive” than irradiation. But we are trying to undermine the phrase “irradiation is no worse than cooking”. Answer choice D gives us a reason why “cooking” is worse than “irradiation”, not vice versa. Get rid of “D”.

Answer choice “E” shows how irradiation could be worse than cooking – because if you cook something irradiated, the loss of vitamin B1 is “compounded.” It minds the gap and shows why the statement “irradiation is no worse than cooking” is "misleading."

Answer choice “E” is our answer.

Now, let’s look back at this problem from the perspective of strategy. This problem can teach us several patterns seen throughout the GMAT. First, when a question requires you to "Fill in the Blank," find the flow of the logic. Premises support conclusions, which helps you to identify the direction (or flow) of the information. Then, once you identify the structure of the problem, focus EXACTLY on what the problem is asking. Many people miss Critical Reasoning questions because they rush too quickly through the interpretation of the question and miss crucial leverage words. In the case of this problem, we are looking for an answer that shows why the argument that "irradiation is no worse...than cooking" is "misleading." Focusing on the exact logical gap keeps us from falling for distracting traps and detours.
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Re: The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. Howe &nbs [#permalink] 19 Nov 2018, 14:18
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