Italy farmers call for Christmas blacklist of planet-polluting food

Rome - Italy's farmers on Sunday called for Alaskan salmon, Californian nuts and Peruvian asparagus to be banished from the nation's Christmas tables to support efforts to stop global warming after the Paris climate summit.

Instead, festive hosts looking to wow their guests should seek out locally-grown but less common fruit and vegetables such as prickly pears and persimmons or vintage varieties such as limoncello apples or madernassa pears, they advised.

Although Italians continue to generally favour produce grown as locally as possible, a "strongly growing snob trend" means the end-of-year festivities generate demand for out-of-season luxuries such as Chilean cherries and melons from Guadeloupe, according to farmers' organisation Coldiretti.

It calculated that one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of peaches flown in from Chile generates 21.6 kg of carbon emissions, arguing that switching to zero-miles produce could significantly cut transport's 40 per cent share of total global emissions.

Other products on the Coldiretti blacklist included Brazilian watermelons, green beans from Egypt and blackberries from Mexico.

To underline their point, a delegation of farmers was offering homemade zero-miles fruit juices for marchers on a pre-Paris protest march scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Rome.