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#20 - Of the various food containers made of recycled

lsatstudier
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Hi,

I am wondering why the answer to this question is E and not D. Isn't this question mostly focusing on the egg cartons? Why is E the best choice? Any advice for MBT questions, especially towards the ends of the sections?

Thank you! :)
David Boyle
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lsatstudier wrote:Hi,

I am wondering why the answer to this question is E and not D. Isn't this question mostly focusing on the egg cartons? Why is E the best choice? Any advice for MBT questions, especially towards the ends of the sections?

Thank you! :)



Hello lsatstudier,

There is some focus on egg cartons, but also on other factors, e.g., Styrofoam. As for answer D, there is no proof that "most egg cartons are made from recycled Styrofoam."
Answer E is supported by "Because egg shells keep the actual food to be consumed from touching the Styrofoam, used Styrofoam need not be as thoroughly cleaned when made into egg cartons as when made into other food containers." So, other containers have problems with being dirtied by Styrofoam, and with lack of insulation (like a shell) between food and Styrofoam.
As for "Any advice for MBT questions, especially towards the ends of the sections?": nothing too new, but always pay close attention to the facts. And since questions near the end of LR sections are sometimes harder than questions earlier on, be extra careful to ascertain what the facts really are!

Hope this helps,
David
avengingangel
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Is C incorrect because from the stimulus one cannot determine what is the main reason Styrofoam must be thoroughly cleaned when recycled ?? We just know one reason ?
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi avengingangel,

You're definitely on the right track. The reason you identified is half the explanation, and the other half is that we have no idea if what needs to be cleaned is to remove residual food; possibly, the styrofoam needs to be cleaned because chemicals might have gotten on it, or bacteria is introduced in the recycling process, or myriad other reasons. Because this is a Must Be True question, C therefore is just completely out of scope of the stimulus.
avengingangel
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hm..but i feel in the stimulus it does tell you why styrofoam needs to be cleaned ?? bc the actual food to be consumed can touch the Styrofoam (in non-egg carton containers). I don't see how that's still an unknown/would make this answer choice a bad one. (I recognize that the reasons you listed could be additional reasons why)
Robert Carroll
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avengingangel,

Note that the stimulus tells you eggs are easier to package in used Styrofoam because the egg shells keep the actual food separated from the packaging, but the stimulus doesn't tell you why that's a good thing. Is it because food stuck to the used Styrofoam might contaminate the newly-packaged food? Or is it because, as Emily said, chemicals in the Styrofoam might contaminate the newly-packaged food? If the latter is the reason, then cleaning residual food is not the main reason you need to clean used Styrofoam before reusing it. Because we are left to speculate and the stimulus doesn't inform us of enough to confirm answer choice (C), it doesn't meet the standards of the question (Must Be True/Most Strongly Supported) and is wrong.

Robert Carroll
avengingangel
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Robert Carroll wrote:Is it because food stuck to the used Styrofoam might contaminate the newly-packaged food? Or is it because, as Emily said, chemicals in the Styrofoam might contaminate the newly-packaged food?


Ah, thanks for clarifying! That makes a lot of sense now. I was equating food not touching the Styrofoam to not needing to remove residual food.
bk1111
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Hello, I chose E by process of elimination. I am still not sure how E is supported by the stimulus though. Is the answer choice supported because the stimulus says the Styrofoam containers for egg cartons are not as thoroughly cleaned as other containers made from Styrofoam?

I am not sure if it's the language that is confusing me, or the actual content.
Charlie Melman
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Hi bk,

The answer to your question is basically yes.

The stimulus essentially argues that egg cartons are among the easiest types of food containers that can be made from recycled materials because they're easy to clean. The reason why they're easy to clean is that the eggs in them—the food they contain—is shielded from coming in contact with the container due to the eggs' shells.

If this was the case for every type of food container, the author would have no reason to cite this as an explanation for egg cartons' special benefits. Therefore, it should be the case that what answer choice (E) says is true.
LSAT2018
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I was left with answers (A) and (E) and chose (E) despite feeling nervous about the 'effectively prevented' part in the statement. What makes this acceptable (especially because there is no indication of this) and further, why is answer (A) incorrect?