30 oz. Quart

Looks like we get to add another one to the “rip off by product shrinkage” group.

Best Foods Mayo has shrunk the Quart ( 32 ounce ) Mayo so it is now 30 ounces. So when did that happen?

I just noticed it this last “buy”, but checking the almost used up one, it is 30 ounces too. At the store, some other brand I’d never heard of was also 30 ounces. I think I need to check more broadly and see if it was a cartel action by all mayo makers (like the tuna canning folks did with their size shrink ripoff) or if it is just gradual diffusion.

IF I find anyone still selling a full quart size, I’m going to buy it just to register a lost sale for Best Foods ( aka Hellmann’s back east). Their web site is a very high page weight (slow) page that keeps nagging me for my location. I really don’t need a giant face staring at me out of my screen stuffing something into their mouth…

https://www.hellmanns.com/us/en/home.html

Wallmart mayo search looks like it is a collusion action, since Kraft is also 30 ounces now. It also looks like the pint has shrunk to a 12 ounce squirty thing or a 15 ounce jar. The house brand (“Great Value”) is also 30 ounces, so likely either Best Foods or Kraft repackaged. There is a listing for a “Duke’s Real Mayonnaise” in 32 ounces, so if my local market has it, I guess it will be my next mayo.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=mayonnaise&cat_id=976759&typeahead=mayonnaise

https://www.dukesmayo.com/

It does look like Kraft and Hellmann’s / Best Foods have not changed the giant 48 ounce or gallon sizes (yet…) but we could not eat that much in a year or two if we tried. Duke’s also comes in the more standard 8 ounce and 16 ounce jars.

Per the Walmart page, “Smart Balance” also still comes as a full quart jar. I may try it (made with a “better” blend of oils / fatty acids)

https://www.smartbalance.com/products/mayonnaise/omega-plus-light-mayonnaise

There’s a total of 300 entries spread over 20 pages on that Walmart link. I’ve scanned the first 100. There are a couple of more honest quarts and pints, and a whole lot of odd / strange sizes. The ones I didn’t single out tend to be “organic” or some other special feature. Mostly it is just the same makers in several varieties of oil used, with lime juice or not, organic or not, and some strange package types. There were a couple more strange brands in 30 ounce that I’d now suspect are a Kraft or Hellmann’s house brand package for some reseller; or maybe they just saw the “size leader” shift packaging and it was long enough ago that they had time to shift too.

In Conclusion

Well, much as I have been comfortable just using Best Foods Mayo since we had it in the restaurant when I was a kid (and before merger with Hellmann’s IIRC); I’m not fond at all of the subtle rip-off of a size shrink.

This means some other brand is in my future. I’ve used Spectrum before and it was good. They are still full pints and quarts. So there are some choices.
http://www.spectrumorganics.com/products/mayonnaise/

We’ll see what the local stores have and make some choices. I’ll also be doing a “price / unit volume” comparison and / or read the posted value if the store does that. Clearly now you can’t just look at the price on Mayo anymore.

It also looks like being suspicious of Kraft and Hellmann’s / Best Foods other products is also in order, so mark your shopping list accordingly. Kraft and Heinz merged some time back, so that includes all Heinz products as well.
http://www.kraftheinzcompany.com/

Oh Well. I don’t like doing business with folks who have shady behaviours, no matter how good the product. So even if I have to “pay up for honesty”, I’ll do so. Heck, I might even pay extra and get the Organic or High Omega-3 versions if that’s the only choice.

I only hope that the small sellers don’t copy-cat the big guys on this and some choice for honest sizes stays in the market place. FWIW, this is an example of what happens when some players get big enough they think they can force monopoly or oligopoly behaviours into the market. Shrink the size and the customer just has to put up with it.

One hopes there is still enough competition in the mayonnaise market to keep that from working as planned.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to 30 oz. Quart

  1. u.k.(us) says:

    Much as I hate to say it, when I go shopping, if the brand/size is what I’m looking for, it goes into the cart.
    Now when it comes to coffee….they keep making the containers smaller, in an effort to keep the price the same ??
    Who price shops ?, I’m just happy to fill out my list and get the heck out of the store :)
    I figure supply/demand has already set a fair price for the product.
    (I’ve got a 20 ounce Hellmann’s container of mayo, barely used, in my fridge with a “best by” date of 8/22/16, I might have to consider tossing it and buying a newer model within the next year or two :)

  2. philjourdan says:

    This is just an example of your US Steel in the Monopoly thread. There does not have to be any collusion. One of the big guys does it, and all others follow suit.

    It happens all the time. I do not buy mayo that often, but I notice it in passing on all things (ketchup and mustard are more my style). And how about eggs? Jumbo use to be large. And medium? (I have not seen small) are very small.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    The major brands have been doing that for the last few years, cereal boxes getting smaller etc.Creating funny shaped squeeze bottles so you don’t notice they contain less than the old glass bottles.

    The major brands are somewhat like gasoline sales demand is relatively inelastic. If you need mustard you need mustard, and you are far more interested in the container price than the cost per oz since you cannot buy half a bottle of soy sauce.

    In the case of condiments like relish catsup and mustard I buy the smaller containers because I don’t use enough to empty a bottle before it gets well beyond the use by date, so I routinely use a half a bottle of mustard and then toss it and buy a new one when I notice the old bottle is so old the bright yellow color is gone and mustard is turning dark it is so old.

    I also keep the fridge at just above freezing temp to make stuff last longer so I throw away less stuff before I use it up.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    We do a lot of tuna sandwiches and grilled cheese, both of which consume mayo, so go through it quickly enough to use the larger jar. I tried going with 8 and 16 ounce jars, and it was just too much turnover.

    Mustard, I use fairly quickly as I put it on ham sandwiches and one various boiled dogs and sausages (with kraut!).

    And for Soysauce, I buy it by the 1/2 gallon or so since it makes 1/2 of my meat marinade base (equal parts soy and vinegar, then add garlic, citrus and seasonings for the variations).

    Catsup, hot sauce, relish, etc. etc. tend to take a long while to use up, but generally are pickled so keep a long time (well past the “use by” dates). Mustard, being basically ground mustard seeds in vinegar is another one that doesn’t really go bad, just will eventually dry out if uncapped.

    For cereal, I just shifted to buying the Giant Size boxes or bags and avoided the size game entirely. I decant it into 1/2 gallon wide mouth jars where it keeps for years if needed… (but the spouse eats it fast enough to be inside a month or two most of the time). I use a canning funnel and just fill the suckers, shake a little to settle, top off and cap. At any one time only 1/2 gallon is exposed to the air. ( I use it to fill quart sized jars in the cupboard for easier handling by the spouse at O-dark Thirty ;-)

    Similar thing for coffee. I saved a set of a half dozen jars from fruit (though canning jars would work as well, I liked the one piece lids). I buy the giant sized coffee tin at the big box discounter (COSTCO, Walmart, whatever) and then decant it into the 24 oz jars. Only one open to the air at any one time, so it stays “fresh” to the end of the batch of jars.

    Can’t quite see doing that with gallons of mayo, though ;-)

    FWIW, I think it was my restaurant upbringing… I learned very early on to watch prices, cost out a meal, pay attention to cost / unit and what size portions and containers were. Just never stopped. So yeah, I price shop.

    I’ve even got a formal shopping list I print out with stocking quantity on it. I walk the kitchen and not the difference on the list, then go do the buying. To be added to it are the place with the best price for that item. (I’ve mostly just gone to the cheap big box right out the gate – so some things have a notation that some other store has that particular thing, but I’ve not put the best price on the sheet – yet… )

    Which reminds me, I’m down to the last can of dog food… I think I need to go shopping before the dogs start chewing on my shoes 8-0

    @Phil:

    Hmmm…. I’d thought the mediums were looking smaller than I expected… I usually buy extra large or jumbo.

    At one time there were formal sizes for each grade. I wonder if those got changed by someone… I even saw a formula to calculate the best buy size some years back. Maybe I need to find that again and look up current weight ranges for egg sizes…

    But yes, in an oligopoly there is often what is called “Price Leadership” where without a formal collusion folks just accept that a given player sets the price and the rest match it. That can now be extended to “Size Leadership” in the shrinkage…

  5. philjourdan says:

    Mayo on grilled cheese? Never tried that. Usually we just do cheese quesedillas (my wife is on Atkins), but never tried mayo on it.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    “Price Leadership” where without a formal collusion folks just accept that a given player sets the price and the rest match it.

    Yep same thing happens with gasoline prices, one local station is the first to drop the price, and all his competitors quickly match that pump price. Within 24 hours almost all the stations in the area will have that new price.

  7. Alexander K says:

    My household has not purchased mayo in years as we prefer our home-made one. I have completely gone off Ketchup (or any other tomato- based sauce) after becoming addicted a few years go to a very light lick of Thai-sourced sweet chili sauce. Due to diabetes, I can’t use much of this per serving as most brands contain about 80% sugars

  8. Gary says:

    There may be another subtle motive behind the down-sizing besides selling less product for the same price. A reduced size will short a recipe and require buying a second unit of the item. You may or may not use the “extra” but the company doesn’t care — they made the sale. I first noticed this years ago when the wife was making some chocolate sauce that needed a 16 oz can of condensed milk. We could only find 14 oz cans. Well, the recipe must be followed for proper results so you can guess what we bought.

  9. Power Grab says:

    @ Gary: If it’s pumpkin pie you’re referring to, a long time ago a friend told me to use heavy cream instead. I have made it that way ever since. I am happy to not have to pay attention to the size of condensed milk cans because we always have heavy cream around. I buy it by the quart. :-)

  10. Lynn Clark says:

    The same down-sizing thing happened with ice cream several years ago. The only brand that I know of that still sells full half-gallon containers is Tillamook, and in addition, they overfill the container so you really get your money’s worth out of it. If you’re lucky enough to have it in your local area you should give it a try. My favorite is Udderly Chocolate (that’s not a typo). It’s one of the few things I really miss about living in Thailand.

    I never pay much attention to “use by” or “best by” dates printed on products, but after my kids got on my case for having brown ketchup in the fridge, I got more diligent about trying to use it up faster. I also quickly learned years ago that buying the super-jumbo gallon jar of dill-pickle slices at Sam’s Club really wasn’t cost-effective for a single guy like me. Fifteen years later that jar was still sitting in the back of my fridge with about a half-dozen pickle slices gone. It took a marathon session at the kitchen-sink garbage disposal to take care of it. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the pickles. It was just taking up space, so had to go.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Phil:

    The way we made them in the restaurant is the same way I do it now. Tub of mayo, rubber spreader, 2 slices bread, 3 slices of cheese (though 4 if very thin). Spread mayo on bread thinly, put cheese on, mayo the other slice of bread thinly, put it on cheese. Spread a slightly thicker (but still not gloppy, just enough to leave a visible mayo layer) bit on the top of that and invert it into the hot frying pan ( I use cast iron skillet as it is closest to the grill we had in function) at about 300 F to 350F – or medium frying temperature.) Now apply the top layer of mayo. Use lower and slower cooking if cheese or bread is very thick. Cook for about 4 minutes (check the bottom for golden brown until you get the feel of it for your materials – be careful not to ever burn) and flip. Cook about another 4 minutes until cheese is melted.

    I’ve been known to flip it back and forth a couple of times to assure golden not brown color and even cheese melt… Better to start off at 250 F and work your way up than too hot and burned outside, cold inside.

    The egg and oil from the mayo make a wonderfully crisp and rich surface… Mayo inside is optional, but the “gooey” factor isn’t quite as nice ;-)

    I’m partial to whole wheat, the spouse likes white, sour dough – thin, is a treat. Cheddar is wonderful and traditional. American Cheese is, er, well, it works… I’m especially fond of Gouda as a unique twist. Swiss is a bit too fondue like but then again I do eat it sometimes… Edam and Munster are also special sometimes. Usually we use Colby Jack as it’s in the house a lot and works well. I’ve done straight Jack, and it’s good, but a bit bland. ( I use a Mexican 4 cheese mix for quesadillas and have used it to make a grilled cheese when out of slices – yum! but pile it higher as the shreds are not as dense as it looks)

    @Alexander K:

    I was looking up DIY Mayo this evening. I made it once, decades back, but didn’t like it. I was, it turns out, using a recipe for a fancy mayo using olive oil and strong flavors. When it didn’t taste like plain white I was discouraged. I now know (or more accurately, found a page that said…) to use mild flavored oil for the Hellmann’s like flavors…

    Unfortunately, it looks like my blender is no more, or I’d be talking about the mayo I just made. So that’s on the gift list… I plan to put a couple of links in a later comment to DIY HowTos, but feel free to post your favorite recipe. It looks pretty easy. Egg, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar or citrus juice in a blender. Blend, adding light oil in a slow stream until it’s Mayo – about a minute or two.

    IFF I can get a neutral flavor mayo made, I’ll likely just not bother to buy Best Foods ever again. They list soybean oil (not my favorite) and egg yokes plus whole eggs. Some recipes use yokes, some whole eggs. Doesn’t seem to matter all that much. One even used only the whites for a low cholesterol version. Particulars on the acid used and the oil used and the mustard all vary, so lots of tuning choices. I’m figuring 1 whole egg and Canola or 1/2 Safflower 1/2 light olive oil as my first shot at it. We’ll see. It will likely be a couple of weeks before I’ve got a stick blender to try it with.

    @Lynn:

    With the kids moved out, my Costco buys have dramatically dropped. I grew up using restaurant sized cans and commercial sized roasts, so “only” cooking for the family was already a downsize. Now, with just 2 of us and lower consumption each at that, I’m learning to shop much smaller.

    At one time I tried buying the gallon sized peaches and green beans at Costco and “re-canning” them at home. It worked, but… Now I do more frozen stuff that can be scooped out as needed and use 1/2 of a small can with the other half in a tub in the fridge for another meal.

    Last Costco run I mostly only bought meat and fish (that I repack and freeze) and some things like coffee that I also repack or green beans in 15 oz cans by the 6 pack. Couldn’t even buy bread as it comes in a 2 loaf pack and we can’t eat it fast enough to avoid stale bread. Oh Well.

  12. Tony Hansen says:

    EM,
    Thanks for your blog. Just sent a bit for the new blender.
    Regards and best for the new year

  13. omanuel says:

    Analytical thinking is obviously a problem that educational institutions have not yet completely eliminated .

  14. EM – worth knowing that making mayonnaise doesn’t go right when a thunderstorm is brewing. Industrially, they cheat by using thickeners, but the straight eggs/mustard/oil mix won’t thicken when the air is more ionised (positive ions). The information came from my old “Joy of Cooking” and they found corroborations, but since I avoided doing it in thunderstorms I don’t know personally. These days I don’t use enough of it to make my own – with no preservatives in it needs using within a few days.

  15. PaulID says:

    @ E.M. us Alton Browns recipe for Mayo which is adaptable it is the only one I use, watch his video and you will have some of the best mayo out there.
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/mayonnaise-recipe-1951119

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/good-eats/episodes/the-mayo-clinic

  16. p.g.sharrow says:

    Simon; seems to me that that quite a few “whipped” things don’t work well in stormy weather. Surface tension must be reduced by the change in ionization.
    The mixing of Titanium Dioxide and Polypropylene powders, both positive, had to be ion treated before they would mix well prior to plasticizing.
    Scrubbing contaminates from an air stream with water is enhanced during changes in ionization. Water becomes wetter…pg

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tony:

    Thanks! and you are welcome!

    @Simon:

    Lucky for me we rarely have thunderstorms here ;-) When one is happening, I’m more likely to be playing in it than working in the kitchen…

    @Lynn:

    Yeah, ice cream was where I first got peeved about it. Used to buy 1/2 gallon plastic tubs of it at the local store. I’d save the tubs for storing dry goods and as a nice way to toss chicken bits with coating mix. Then they changed to some weird size. Pretty much cut my ice cream consumption by about 75% between no utility from the tub and pissedness at the sellers. Still have not gone back to it. We now very occasionally buy a tub of whatever size it is now, but the bile the process raises is still with me and taints the whole experience… One of the problems of “never forgetting”…

    My stash of nested 1/2 gallon tubs is slowly shrinking. (I used them nearly daily for things like storing leftovers from roasts and stews). When, someday, they finally run out, I’ll have to find some other replacement. Until then they are a constant reminder of what once was…

    It was a house brand of sorts. Pretty good ice cream too. Oddly, about 6 months after the size change the large section of ice cream in plastic tubs went away. I think I wasn’t the only one peeved. Now it’s just paper cartons of some strange size. Now I also shop at a different store too, despite that one being closer. Overall their prices got too high and I ended up looking for a better value proposition.

    I’ve been slowly moving to ever more DIY and bulk to smaller repackaging as this process has spread. It isn’t hard, at all, to buy big and break it down for several classes of foods.

    Meat, fish, birds: Just put it in plastic tubs in the freezer in single use sizes. I buy large flats of pork chops, chicken parts, ground meat; then spend 10 minutes filling tubs at the end of the shopping trip. Toss them in the freezer (separated so the freeze faster) and I’m done. For the next week or two I just pull a tub to make a meal. Large roasts get cooked first, then the excess goes into ceramic tubs with lids and with sides added as pre-made instant lunches, also in the freezer.

    Canned vegetables (15 oz size) get 1/2 heated and eaten and the other half dumped into a tub in the fridge for another meal in the next few days (or becomes a ‘side’ in the lunch tubs). I’ve got a bit stack of small plastic tubs saved from KFC buys ;-) Yeah, I could just use Tupperware or other commercial product (and I have a large collection of them, too) but it’s just a habit to be frugal and those KFC tubs are free for the washing once you bought the meal ;-) Stack nicely too. Sometimes I’ll use canning jars / lids to hold the 1/2 can of extra; depending on what’s close and ready to go.

    When I make mashed spuds or mixed roots, I make a big batch. Excess goes into the “sides” of lunches, or into a tub in the refrigerator. It never lasts long enough to make it to the freezer ;-)

    Dry goods I buy in the largest economical size. Then I break it down into convenient use sizes into canning jars (a canning funnel helps contain the mess of filling the jars ;-) Salt, flour, cereal, rice, beans, etc. etc. etc. I use a mix of 1/2 Gallon jars and quart jars depending on the length of storage, the bulk of the item in question, and the ease of holding it. At one time I used a lot of the plastic 1/2 gallon tubs from ice cream, but I’m using more glass now. Oddly, the plastics are wearing out about as fast as the size stored is decreased from kids moving out. Played with the vacuum sealing things and all but just putting it in air proof jars works fine.

    That covers so much of the total food buys that there isn’t much left where I’m buying it in small inefficient sizes. Looks like even that is going to cease being an issue as I start DIY condiments. Looks like mustard is trivial to make too (though at 68 ¢ for a small Walmart brand bottle it might not be worth the effort ;-) and I already need a non-tomato based red sauce so DIY is sort of all there is (the Filipino banana catsup is too spicy for the spouse).

    So it goes… they play games with the sizes, I dodge the game…

  18. Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty says:

    With a stick blender the emulsification is nearly trivial. Extra light olive oil has nearly no flavor, and the more expensive avocado oil has none. It’s a 5 minute job, not counting the time to let the eggs warm up to room temperature. I usually just pull two eggs out of the fridge and put them in about 12 oz of hot water, and it stabilizes at room temp.

    Procedure:

    Find a vessel that is just a bit larger than the head of your stick blender. I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup.

    Add room temperature eggs, seasonings (e.g. mustard), your acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) to the cup.

    Submerge the stick blender head, trying to avoid air bubbles.

    Pour the amount of oil called for by the recipe on top and let it settle for a bit.

    With the stick blender head firmly against the bottom, let ‘er rip. The watery ingredients combine, and then a little stream of oil will be sucked into the vortex. Keep the blender at the bottom until the oil isn’t streaming anymore, at which point you will have a nice thick emulsion. Then play with the blender head to get the rest of the oil incorporated.

    My children can do it.

  19. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    If you people ever go metric you’ll likely meet another excuse for rounding down

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @YHBOL:

    Thanks for that! The recipes I’d read did not mention the need for room temp eggs. Likely obvious to folks who do a lot of whipped egg things, but that’s a part of cooking I’ve not done since about 7 years old watching it be done by Mum.

    I’d read some recipes using the stick blender and some using the regular. I’d settled on the Stick Blender just because it is smaller and I’m trying to de-junk the place… but good to know it makes it work better and easier too.

    @Another Ian:

    The USA is mixed mode at present, with some things metric and some not. I’m fine with that. But we in fact did have some of that effect when folks like Coke and Pepsi went to the 1 L bottle and 2 L bottle. Some folks went to smaller metric sizes of their original product. IIRC, wine has gone to 750 ml as a “fifth”.

    I’ve occasionally had folks complain at me as I’m happy to mix units. Things like kg/sq-ft are fine with me ;-)

    Metric is for folks who can do decimal math well. “Traditional” or “English” is for folks who can do fractions well. I can do both well…

    I function happily in F or C or K or even Rankine R. (Most of my high school chem was in mixed K and R as we had to learn both.)

    Frankly, what units you use is irrelevant. How they are cheating the customer is all that matters…

    IMHO there is absolutely no need for everyone to use only one system of units. (For any one project, sure, standardize to avoid conversion work). I’ve occasionally thought it might be nice to make a system of units where ONLY the most basic units had a name, and the rest were kept as their derived forms. So trash this whole thing of using opaque honorifics as units. Why use Hz when cycles/second tells you something? I believe all of physics and chemistry would become much easier to teach in such units. The basic properties have names, the rest carry their relationship in their units…

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    Same here just different units, some are more appropriate for one situation and another more appropriate for another.

    I interchange them all the time – of course i grew up in a time period when you memorized units of measure (one gallon = 231 cubic inches one inch equals 2.54 cm one liter = 1000 ml (or as we used to say cc “cubic centimeter” one liter = approx 62 cubic inches, one meter = 39.37 inches one kg = 2.2 pounds (approx) one grain = 1/7000 pound one pound = 454 gram etc. etc. – – – all that from memory)

  22. H.R. says:

    Unit pricing has been great, but I find that the grocers still make it difficult to compare units in hopes you’ll go for the more profitably priced item.

    The one that frosts my bananas is the small item in $/oz (liq) and the larger item in $/gallon. They also do that with $/oz (wt) and then $/pound. And it seems none of the items are in multiples conducive to easy arithmetic for the average consumer, e.g. 39oz priced as $/quart vs 22oz at $/oz.

    Grrrrrr…, not for me but for the large, arithmetically challenged, regular shoppers that just give up. There’s hope, though. With calculators on smartphones now, I am starting to see savvy shoppers crunching the numbers.

  23. A good place to shop here in the Bay Area is Grocery Outlet. The nearest one to Cupertino looks to be in Sunnyvale at 1180 N. Fair Oaks. There are others in Palo Alto and Redwood City. Best Foods/Hellman’s in “quart” size jars can be as cheap as $1.50 each.

  24. Alexander K says:

    @yhb of l, why do you store your eggs in a fridge? Even though every fridge manufacturer includes a nifty little egg container, all the cooks I know never ever store eggs at anything below room temp.
    We store ours in a pottery hen/container on our kitchen worktop handy to the cook-top or mixing bowl. Provided one doesn’t keep them an overly long time, the eggs keep just fine and always do what they are supposed to do.

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Depends on where you live, as i recall in the US eggs are washed which removes an external coating that helps keeps the eggs fresh but allows air to penetrate the shell. They are washed to reduce salmonella contamination risk. I store mine in the fridge but I wrap the carton in the store plastic bag to minimize evaporation of moisture from the egg and they keep for a very long time.

    In Europe I believe eggs are not washed and that natural coating remains and so they keep well at room temperature but have higher risk of transfer of external salmonella contamination if the cook is not careful.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/09/11/336330502/why-the-u-s-chills-its-eggs-and-most-of-the-world-doesnt

  26. pouncer says:

    regarding metric and down-sizing retail packaging…

    IMHO the US industry uncharacteristically missing a marketing opportunity during the Reagan-era push for the US to join the world in metrification. (I’m of mixed mind about whether that miss was an inadvertent ‘win’ or not.)

    Back then I noticed while stationed overseas (you know, serving as one of Adrian’s baby-killers in one of those bloody wars he asserts that the US routinely instigates) that the locals bought many products by the pound — a 500 gram “metric” pound. Slightly larger than a US pound. Since “a pint’s a pound the world around” a metric pound of water would have been one metric pint. Two m-pints to a m-quart — also called a liter. Four m-quarts would have made a metric gallon — larger than a contemporary US gallon but smaller than an “Imperial” gallon. Exactly 2000 metric pounds is exactly equal to the logistics unit of one “long ton” or 2200 old US pounds. The volume and weight units convert fairly comfortably, and always to the consumers slight benefit. A bigger bit of stuff under a familiar unit name.

    But the US began with the meter — which never divides conveniently. A centimeter is too small. There exists no term for a hand-span-ish unit. Tens don’t divide as readily as twelves… Metric length is not particularly humane. Then there is temperature …

    https://imgur.com/gallery/KB3nyXX

  27. Pingback: Mayonnaise | Musings from the Chiefio

  28. Larry Geiger says:

    People don’t realize that one of the main reasons we did not go to metric was our nation’s huge investment in land surveying. Everything is in traditional measurements. Feet, chains, acres and so on. Millions and millions of records across 50 states and lots and lots of counties (and parishes). People forget how very small some of those European nations really are. Many other nations around the world chose metric before they had completely surveyed everything. Not so over here.

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