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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 December 2005, 11:48 GMT
Dinner 'travels globe to table'
Christmas lunch
Your festive dinner has probably travelled more than you have
Your Christmas dinner probably travelled 30,000 miles before ending up on your plate, Green MEP Caroline Lucas has warned.

A European turkey, African vegetables, Australian wine and American cranberry sauce will have notched up enough miles to circumnavigate the globe, she says.

Ms Lucas is calling for an end to the international trade in produce that is just as easily acquired locally.

"There's simply no need to eat mange tout from Zimbabwe," she said.

Ms Lucas, a member of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee and an MEP for the south-east England, said thoughtless sourcing of produce was contributing significantly to the aviation industry's greenhouse gas emissions and the extension of "monoculture" farming.

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She said: "Ingredients for a traditional Christmas Dinner are in season in the UK right now - that's why they're traditionally eaten at Christmas."

Author of a European Parliament report called Stopping the Great Food Swap, she added: "African farmers are paying a high social and environmental price for switching traditional production to inappropriate cash crops geared for western markets, but seeing few of the financial benefits.

"By eating locally grown produce we can enjoy fresher, tastier food, support our local economies - and cut out some of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the aviation industry as it flies all these vegetables around the world."

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