On average, cats fed canned cat food eat fewer ounces of food per day than do cats fed dry cat food; the canned food ...

kristinsmith04 on December 16, 2019

Am i overthinking answer choice E?

Hi There! I avoided E because I thought it may not be true that the cat food costs more per ounce if economies of scale kick in (ie. the first ounce is really expensive, but once you package a ton of ounces into a can, it is cheaper). There could be other reasons the wet food is more expensive, like the aluminum can it comes in. Why is this analysis wrong? I do agree its better than all the others and I should have picked it though! Thanks

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tomgbean on December 18, 2019

Hi, to the comment above mine. I chose D but Irina did a good job of explaining why that answer choice is wrong. I though didn't even consider E in depth because I thought I found the right answer in D..that is a flaw which I hav to correct so I don't keep missing questions. To speak to your reasoning, the way I worked this question the second way around to get to the right answer is this:

Consider that wet food costs $10 dollars for one can(1 serving) , each serving is one ounce and one ounce contains 5 calories. And a serving of dry food is $5 dollars but each serving is 2 ounces and contains 3 calories. it does not matter how much much each cat eats per day the cost of wet food would still be higher. So if each cate ate 3 meals a day, the cost of wet food would be $30 dollars for 3 ounces and 15 calories. The cat eating dry would would cost $15 dollars per day for 6 ounces and 9 calories. You could raise a hypothetical of a the cat eating wet food eating less meals per day because it's getting more calories per meal but that would require and assumption not suggested in the passage. Hope this helps. I am far from achieving the perfect score but I think I am on my way so if I helped you great! If not, I am sure the instructors will intervene.

BenMingov on January 14, 2020

Hi Kristin and Ryan,

Thanks Ryan for providing your thoughts on the question and answer choice E. It's a really helpful exercise to try explaining LSAT questions in simple terms in order to boost your own understanding.

In looking at the question, we see that it is a Must Be True question. This means that all we need is to find an answer choice that is fully supported and provable using the passage.

The passage provides us with the following information:

Cats fed canned food typically eat less than those fed wet food. Canned food is more calorie rich per ounce. Feeding cats canned food typically costs more than feeding cats wet food.

This is literally the whole argument. And Kristin, as you said, none of the answer choices other than E are really appealing and by process of elimination we can determine E. I would say that, as Ryan mentioned, answer choice D might be perhaps the most plausible of the incorrect answer choices at first glance. But how can it be proven that eating less ounces typically isn't cheaper than eating more ounces. We have no idea based on this answer choice which foods we are comparing! Canned vs canned? Dry vs canned? Dry vs dry? So, we can't support this.

Back to answer choice E. It states that canned food typically costs more per ounce than wet food.

I like to think of it this way. Without plugging any numbers in nor using any calculations whatsoever.

Cats that eat canned food typically eat less than those fed dry food. Yet, somehow, it typically costs more to feed canned food. The only way this is possible is if canned food typically costs more than dry food.

Consider this. An ounce of black caviar will typically cost more than several kilograms of pasta. How? Because black caviar is typically more expensive by weight. No calculations required.

Kristin, looking at your analysis, there a couple of ideas I'd like to point out. You added in this idea of economies of scale kicking in for canned food. But if you're already thinking this way, why wouldn't economies of scale kick in for dry food as well? This is why it is easiest and advised not to toss in too many assumptions on your end when analyzing questions. Yes, you should think critically about the answer choices in the way you are doing, but try not to reach too far in one direction this way. Additionally, if you're thinking about the aluminum can, that would be factored into the price of the canned food. We don't care whether the food inside is $0.05 and the can is $5.00, all we care about is the final product that is canned food (in this case, e.g. $5.05). In other words, the reasons for the price doesn't matter; it is just the price that matters.

And Ryan, if these calculations are something you are comfortable with when examining questions, then go for it by all means. I just want you to explore the idea of thinking about these things conceptually. (I.e. less food but more expensive means more expensive per [insert quantity unit]).

Hope this helps!