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#91345
Complete Question Explanation

Answer choice (A):

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D):

Answer choice (E):

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
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 clbrogesr
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#91622
Hi,

Could someone please explain to me where they see the tone of "optimism" in this passage, per answer choice C. I narrowed it down to B and C, but did not see either "relief" or "optimism" in the passage.

The author notes that researchers are finally beginning to pay attention to the genetic information contained in heirloom varieties, and that we must take advantage of that information, but nowhere in the passage does the author say they are optimistic that we will do so. Thanks!
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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#91687
Hi clbrogesr

This is a tone question that isn't asking about the passage as a whole, but the author's attitude toward a very specific element. In this case, it's asking for the author's attitude toward the value of the heirloom crops.

Let's start with the easy part. This author definitely in favor of heirloom crops. They give many reasons for this--the genetic diversity, the suitability to the climate, and the resistance of the crops to pests. The author finds these heirloom crops not only valuable, but also worthy of protection. The system as it stands now does not provide incentives to protect the heirloom crops. They aren't economically viable, despite their value to the the genetic variation of the country's crops.

The author isn't relived about their value. He's also not sure that we've done a great job maintaining the genetic base of our country. But he does seem optimistic about the future, about possibilities for agriculture if we correctly support the heirloom crops.

Hope that helps!
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 clbrogesr
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#91697
Rachael,

I really appreciate the thoughtful response - thank you! I'm clear on why "relief" is not an accurate reflection of the author's tone. But I'm not clear on why "optimism" is.

I agree the author is fully in favor of heirloom crops. They love heirloom crops - specifically their potential. But it's not clear where the author expresses optimism that heirloom crops "will help bolster the genetic base of the continent's food crops." I agree the author thinks they can, but not clear on where the author thinks they will, as the answer states.

The line about how they have "only recently been recognized as a valuable tool" is the closest I can find to a piece of evidence for optimism, and I definitely don't think that is strong enough to say optimism. In fact, the picture that the author paints of the world is not a particularly optimistic one, especially as it relates to our genetic base. Exchange networks and small farmers - both of whom support heirloom crop production - are being run out of town by the world market economy. Is there specific textual evidence that I am missing in support of optimism?
 Adam Tyson
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#91737
The text you quoted is certainly a part of the support for "optimism," clbrogesr. I'd say it's also generally found throughout the passage. The author has described a problem, and is telling us about a solution. We're told that experts are searching for a way to solve the problem, which is optimistic in itself (they aren't ignoring the problem, but are aware of it and actively seeking to solve it). We're told that a recent study has confirmed the value of heirloom crops for solving the problem. And we're told that it is a viable solution, because heirloom varieties have been preserved, they can adapt well to resist pests and reduce the need for intensive practices like irrigation, and the knowledge of how to use them has also been preserved. This is a passage filled with good news!

Thus, "optimism" is supported, even if we cannot be absolutely assured of success. The author seems to think heirloom crops will be the answer that the experts have been looking for.

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