Whenever I pluck up the courage to suggest we start writing recipes in metric only, I usually end up running for cover. Why is this, I wonder? After all, once you get used to working in metric it's so much easier than imperial, and schools have been teaching metric measures for at least three generations now.
Working in tens and hundreds is far more practical than figuring out pounds and ounces. For example, if you want to make shortcrust pastry the formula is half fat to flour so that means 500g flour to 250g butter, or 1lb 2oz flour to 9oz butter. Halving it is easy in metric but not so simple in imperial (9oz flour to 41/2oz butter). Halving or doubling up quantities is a total breeze in metric. Also, recipes look much simpler and aren't we all after more simplicity in our lives?
Plans to change to the metric system were proposed by the government in 1965 and we've been faffing about ever since. When we changed to decimalisation in 1971 everyone moaned for a few days, then just got on with it.
If only we could just bite the bullet with metrication it would be so much easier than the wasteful dual system we are battling with at the moment. I challenge anyone to try going metric for a week and see how they get on. I reckon they'll like it a lot. We have been buying fruit and veg in metric weights since 2000 and pretty much everything else is now sold in grams and kilos so metrication also means less weighing and measuring, just tip in a whole bag of this, half a bag of that, and no little annoying bits left in the bottom of the pack.
The most recent deadline for the changeover is 2009, but it wouldn't surprise me if this date was extended yet again. In the 1970s, Australia converted to the metric system quickly and without too much fuss, surely we can do the same?