Food taster! What could be better than being paid to eat? Well, maybe a job where you aren’t risking death. Or where you don’t have to eat horrible things for as long as it takes to work out what’s wrong with them. If that isn’t enough to turn you away, then here are five other reasons it might not be the dream job you think it is:
1. You're volunteering to get murdered
Think about it. You’re offering to eat the food of someone worried about being poisoned. Sure, if they’re important enough to be assassinated, then their food will no doubt be delicious, but is it worth dying for? Just be grateful that today’s medicine means you won’t spend every meal wondering “Will I still be alive tomorrow or not?” like Hitler’s food taster did.
2. Pet food tasting is a thing - for humans
It’s not all about eating food fit for a king. Dogs need their food tasted, too. If you look at the ingredients, it is mostly human food mixed in with the nasty stuff, and Philip Wells is here to assure you that the meat used has to come from animals fit for human consumption. Find an employer who will let you avoid the "gruesome" stuff, and you could be making $30,000 a year!
If you’re terrible at keeping secrets, you might want to reconsider whether being a food taster is right for you. If you work for the President, you have the Secret Service denying you exist, and I doubt companies want their tasters telling people about new flavors they tried that failed. Imagine saving the President’s life and not being able to talk about it! The secrecy would kill you before the food!
4. You can have too much of a good thing
It doesn’t matter how much you love chocolate, being a chocolate taster might not be the best idea. First, you need the willpower to spit the food out after a taste. Then you risk tasting something so horrible it ruins chocolate for you for life. Finally, you can’t just binge on it: you’re supposed to be eating slowly and giving thoughtful feedback to the point where you don’t want it any more. Then again, maybe it is a good cure for a chocaholic.
5. Don't choose your favourite product
Kirsten Hoskissen is a professional food taster, who describes herself as a "cheese fiend", but she doesn’t taste cheese – she tastes cereal. Look at everything that comes before the tasting part – each of which requires thought and a score – and see if it still sounds fun:
- First they look at it; it’s a fruit cereal, so they’re looking for a good spread, a good cluster size, and a good color.
- Then they see if the dried fruit seeds are a good color and evenly distributed.
- Then they do a smell test.
- Finally, it’s time to try it with and without milk, testing flavor and texture. They have to spit it out if they want to keep their figures, but the good news is you have to swallow at least some of the time "because you have some taste buds at the back of your throat" that need to be reached.
Still want to be a food taster? Maybe you are one yourself? Let us know the truth about how hard or easy it really is!