T Nation

A Tablespoon is a Tablespoon....NOT!!!

This morning I was paid a wee visit from the “reality
police!” It happened after I poured my usual heaping
Tblsp of Barlean’s Flaxseed Oil, and was getting ready to
dump it into the blender on top of the 2-1/2 scoops of
“Low Carb Grow,” ice, and a ripe pear…just as I do most
mornings. From reading T-Mag I had been made aware
that kitchen utensils are not a very accurate means of
measuring so I decided to see how my tablespoons
measured-up. I poured the oil into a small plastic cup
kept around for measuring Methoxy and 4-AD-EC. Holy
Cannoli - they weren’t even close!!! According to the
measuring cup (designed for medications) the tablespoon
only yielded 8 ml’s of liquid. A legal tblsp is supposed to yield
15 ml’s! For those of you who are mathematically-challanged,
that’s 47.5% less oil, not to mention calories!

So, what's the big deal? Well, T- Meisters, I also use these same spoons to measure olive oil, among other things. This means that the food log I've been diligently keeping for eons bares innaccuracy of Martha Stewart proportions!!!

A Tablespoon is a Tablespoon....NOT!!!

I checked this out. I tried two different types of measuring spoons, and one was way off, the other right on. One tablespoon should equal .5 oz or 15 ml.

If it wasn’t designed for measurement then there is no reason to assume it conforms to any standard of measure. You wouldn’t use a big gulp cup to measure out a cup of oatmeal. (Unless you are very hungry.) There is no uniformity in flatware, except that it is designed to look good enough that people will buy it. And if you are lucky it might just get food into your mouth.

I have measured out a cup of water and put it into a regular cup so I know how to visually tell when I have close to a cup of water, but I would only measure visually like this when precision is not necessary.

We are not talking about flatware, but actual measuring spoons. One set is an expensive stainless steel set, the other is an older cheaper aluminum set.

OOPS. I read tableware and assumed he meant a flatware tablespoon. You wouldn’t believe the number of people I have met who use normal spoons for measurement. I have three sets of measuring spoons, and all the measures add up perfectly. (Just checked them.) so either they are all off exactly the same, or I was just lucky when I picked them up. I might have caught on if your (KO’s) response was up before I posted.

Happened to me tonight, too. I was putting away some silverware and noticed that one of my 1/3 measuring cups fit inside another one of my 1/3 measuring cups, with room to spare.

Sorry for the confusion, guys! After re-reading my thread
I must say it was a bit ambiguous, and I can see how either
conclusion could be drawn.

Here's the funny part: Ko, I was actually using my tableware out of laziness, while in a hurry to measure things like oil for salads + protein drinks. I had adopted this practice a while a back after testing my flatware Tbsp. against a real measuring spoon by pouring liquid back and forth from one to the other and had determined that they held the same amount. Unfortunately, the measuring spoon set I had originally used to measure my flatware against was a cheap aluminum set. (Are you psychic?) An hour ago I put my cheap aluminum set to the test : sure enough - the 15 ml. Tbsp. yields 8 ml's and the 5 ml tsp. yields 4ml's. Once again, sorry for the confusion!

That’s why I love my oral syringes that Shugart suggested. I use them for oils as well as liquid supps. You just have to buy the kind that comes with a bottle stopper. Around two dollars at Wal-Mart, any pharmacy or grocery story. Now that Biotest is providing those little cups they may be necessary, but I still like them.

Correction to my last post- meant to say they may NOT be necessary now that we have the little cups.

Yeah, but even if it’s not strictly necessary I think I’m going to stick with my syringe. I get such a kick out of the look on people’s faces when I take a bottle of whatever, stick the syringe into it, tilt it upside down and slowly draw out 10cc of fluid - and then shoot it into my mouth. I thought my GF was going to pass out the first time she saw it.


Can’t get entertainment like that just anywhere you know…

Hmmm - we have a bunch of syringes, too. Don’t know why I (or Ko) never have resorted to use them instead. Gonna have to start doin’ that. Anywhoos the so-called, “cheaper” aluminum measuring spoon is a “hand-me-down” from my mom and I have a feeling most measuring spoons from around that time (like, early 70’s) - would be accurate. Just a thought…

That’s what the little hole in the top of all Biotest’s liquids is for. I took some off the bottles of VPX and these work perfect. Maybe Biotest should look into making these.