Food is the international language. No matter where we were born or how we were raised, we all like and need to eat. Food gives us energy and helps us perform well on tests and on the sports field. Food provides comfort and reminds us of home. Food is all around us. Imagine how long your day would seem without breakfast, lunch, and dinner—not to mention snacks—to break it up. And just think of the empty airtime that would be left if we removed every food-related television commercial!
Very few people view eating as a chore. In fact, most of us look forward to our next meal. We celebrate special occasions by going out to eat or making special dishes at home. Food does more than give our bodies energy; it can enrich our lives. People eat together for social reasons as well as nutritional ones. Many families use mealtimes to come together and find out how the day went for the rest of the family. In this fast-paced world, the kitchen or dining-room table may be one of the few places for everyone to gather at the same time. Eating allows for time to catch up.
If you like to cook those family meals, help people relax in a calm environment with good food, or simply want to involve food in your daily professional life, you may want to consider a career that involves the buying, preparing, or selling (and maybe eating, too) of food. Luckily, there are many jobs out there that deal with food.
The food industry is enormous, and there are far too many professions to tackle in this book. Instead, we'll cover some of the more practical jobs available. But we'll also include some fun ones you may not have considered. The majority of the jobs in this book can be attained with a high school diploma or minimal training.
A word of warning: You may want to stop reading and get something to eat before we move on. All the pictures and descriptions of food-related jobs may make you hungry!