Has your child ever asked you where meat comes from? And if so, did you know how to answer?
It can be a difficult topic to explain to children but Charles Sturt University graduate Kate Webster, Wagga Wagga believes it is an important question to answer.
So much so that she has written a picture book, along with illustrations from Cootamundra's Jess Edwards, titled What is meat?
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The book, which Kate hopes can be used by parents and teachers as a tool to accurately explain the meat industry, is one of four in a series which will also include books on where milk, eggs and wool come from.
Kate said she was inspired to write the books after an essay topic at university exposed her to the scary statistics of how little children know about where their food comes from - a line at the back of the book quoting 'Did you know 10 per cent of students thought beef counted as part of their daily 'fruit and vegetable' intake?'
"That sparked the idea, then last year with COVID I had a bit more time on my hands and so I started writing," Kate said.
For Kate, meat was always going to be the first cab off the rank - she did her honours on the flavour of lamb and is now working for a meat industry research body.
"I chose to do that book first because it's what I'm passionate about. It's also one of the most controversial and misconceived industries in agriculture," Kate said.
"I wanted to provide caregivers with a resource they could use which is not too confronting but is engaging and still allows them to give their children the correct facts.
"It also looks at the other products produced from animals and it helps to define the labels we see, like what is free-range? What is organic? What is sustainable farming? - words that I don't think a lot of parents would completely understand."
The book is available at several stockists in the Riverina and online at https://www.thelittlefarmerscommunity.com/
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