Thursday, May 20, 2010

On a Scale of What to What?

Today is World Metrology Day which celebrates the signing of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 that advocated the movement to globalize the science of measurement (hence the word metrology (Bureau International des Poids es Mesures (BIPM).

Source: BIPM

Americans use a different and oft inaccurate measuring system despite basic tools such as the common ruler incorporating both—we stubbornly ignore the metric side. The U.S. is being urged to adopt the new system to be more in line with the rest of the world.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The metrics conversion effort impacts a number of issues for us: commerce, government, and everyday life. Today I’ll just mention its use in cooking.

Recipes and cookbooks are already incorporating the new metric standards. While our older versions will still be useful, the internet has changed how easily we share information such as recipes and they’re often in need of conversion for us. While participating in numerous online cooking challenges, this creates a frequent problem for me. I realize my own thinking/behavior must alter.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

My reluctant American mindset makes the conversion awkward, but I’m willing to try. I recently bought an EatSmart™ Precision Pro - Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale w/ Extra Large LCD and 11 Lb. Capacity to help me eat healthier and realized its metric feature will also aid in using the new way recipes are being written.

You can read more about this issue at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

The sciences have pushed for the change for over 135 years. Maybe it’s the cooks of the world who’ll be the vanguards of real change.


Yummers! said...

Interesting!! You knowledge-filled gal! I always learn something from you. Ha ha... wait til Fall when I am going back to school and taking Modern Russian History (1918-now). No one's going to want to hear a word about that!!

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Ugh...embrace change! lol You are always a font of information Junie Moon!
Smiles, Karen

Storybook Woods said...

Okay this is math, you have completely lost me ;-P I am still trying to figure out how to use my digi scale xoxox Clarice

Lorrie said...

Canada switched to the metric system quite awhile ago. I can go between the two quite easily. I sew in metric but cook in imperial, although I don't weigh things but use volume measures (cups). Temperatures are Celsius but I understand the other. I guess I'm one of those caught in between. It takes a long time to make the switch.
I think the influence from the USA has made our switchover longer because there is so much interaction across the border.
Metric does make more sense, but it's hard to switch.

Jimmy said...


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I remember we were told that the US would convert to metric by the year 2000. I wish we would!