METRIC SIMPLICITY (Part 2)

Considering …

…that one has so much to learn and so many cumbersome variables with the following example: (American units)

1 cup    1/2 pint    8 fl. ounces
2 cups  1 pint      16 fl. ounces
3 cups 1-1/2 pints  24 fl. ounces
2 pints  1 quart    32 fl. ounces
4 quarts  1 gallon  128 fl. ounces

or:  (American, British)

12 inches  1 foot
3 feet        1 yard
or for that matter:

5,280 feet=1 mile or 2915.55 kilometres (or the other way, 1 kilometer is .6213 of a mile)

…it is no wonder that many adults do not remember without having to think about it,  that 32 fl. oz. is a quart, 128 fl. oz. a gallon, let alone 5, 280 feet is a mile.  Quickly, what is three fourths of a quart or a mile?

The metric system is a decimal system of units.  So common cooking units of measure approximating the purpose of the above would be:

(using 250 ml. for one standard cup

liquid measure)
1 cup    1/4 l. (litre)  is  250 ml.
2 cups    1/2 l.        is  500 ml.
3 cups    3/4 l.        is  750 ml.
4 cups    1 l.          is    1000 ml.
(1 l. is 1 quart + 3-1/2 tablespoons)

10 millimetres  is:

1 centimetre

1 cm. (centimetres)

is 100 mm. (millimetres)
25 cm. is 250 mm. (or 1/4 of a meter) 100 cm.  is  1 meter or about 0.91 of a yard

And 1 kilometre is 1000 meters.
The numbers may look larger, but the increments are neat and tidy.  Easy to remember and logical. And it takes no great calculation to know that three fourths of a litre is 750 ml. and three fourths of a kilometre is 750 metres.

So you see basic units of measure are based on 1, 10, 100, 1000, which will remind you of basic mathematics and the decimal system.  Why have one system for everyday use and one for science, medicine and mathematics?

Units of Measure Summary:

litre, millilitre – units of liquid volume
gram, kilogram – units of weight
centimetre, metre, millimetre – units of length
kilometre – unit of distance

British, American, Canadian:

fl. ounces, pints, quarts, gallons – units of  liquid volume
ounces, pounds, stone (14 pounds- English) – units of weight
inches, feet, yards – units of length
mile – unit of distance

(Pints and quarts are sometimes used as solid measures as in strawberries along with pecks and bushels)

The above does not reflect old traditional measures as the English gill (1/2 UK 10 oz. cup or 2/3 of US 8 oz cup) or other such regional measures.

I am aware that in the US metric has been introduced more than 23 years ago on a voluntary basis and really only recently taught in school, but very tongue in cheek.  And it is no wonder.

To an American, looking at a can of soup that weighs 453.6 g. (grams), along with 16 ounces on the label is a joking matter.  Or another that weighs 226.8 g. (8 oz.)  No wonder.

In Europe, such cans are standardized just as it is in England or America.  Such cans would most likely be 450 g. and 225 g. unless they were imported from American or England.  Then we would see those odd conversions. (450 g. = 15.87 oz., 225 g. = 7.93 oz.)

The British and the American/Canadians have resisted the most to the metric system.

This is entirely due to both government’s aversion to change and adaptation to outside influences as well as a strong food industry lobby that doesn’t want to change their equipment over.  Those global giants, however, sell their products in Europe in metric measurements.

If they didn’t, no sale.  It is all about industry money.

The numbers may look larger, but the increments are neat and tidy. Easy to remember and logical.  And it takes no great calculation to know that three fourths of a litre is 750 ml. and three fourths of a kilometre is 750 metres.

3 Second Quiz:
Quickly, what is three fourths of a quart or a mile?

Stone – equals 14 lbs. An antiquated English measure for (human) weight.
A gill (jill from OF) is 1/4 of a pint. An English liquid measure used only in the brewery trade.

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