If you breathed a frustrated sigh of relief earlier this week when you woke on Jan. 2 to learn that the Republicans and Democrats had reached some sort of agreement that kept us from going off the fiscal cliff, you’re not alone. If you’re not sure about all the details of the agreement, you’re not alone, either. Some of those details had to do with food policy – specifically the Farm Bill and the “Dairy Cliff.”

Here’s a little bit of reading for the weekend that will help explain some of those details.

  • EcoWatch thinks the Farm Bill extension in the fiscal cliff deal is a disgrace, partly because it “cuts funding for organic agriculture, clean water and beginning farmer initiatives.”
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is "disappointed" that the 2008 Farm Bill was extended instead of Congress passing a new five-year bill, reports Obama Foodorama.
  • Remember the “dairy cliff” I told you about last week. The fiscal cliff deal averted the dairy cliff.  It came at the expense of cutting over $100 million from money that would “promote healthy eating under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” according to Huffington Post. No money was taken directly from food stamp benefits, just from the healthy eating education.
  • MNN’s science and eco-news blogger Russell McClendon wrote earlier this week about 6 environmental perks of the fiscal cliff deal. He sees the aversion of the dairy cliff as one of those perks.
Enjoy your weekend!

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Weekend reads: How averting the fiscal cliff affected food policy
Effects of the fiscal cliff deal on food policy