The fiscal cliff

And the Farm Bill

January 3, 2013

Thanks to a last-minute piece of legislation signed into law yesterday by President Obama, the nation didn’t careen off the so-called "fiscal cliff" with the start of the new year.

But that doesn’t mean food-politickers aren’t still worried. As part of the fiscal-cliff negotiations, the 2012 farm bill — which stalled in Congress — has been given a nine-month extension that will, among other things, temporarily prevent a price hike on milk.

Venerable food-and-farms activist Wendell Berry thinks that, instead of rewriting the Farm Bill every five years, we should hammer out a truly sustainable bill — one that would stand for 50 years. And Mark Bittman, in a recent op-ed, agreed: “The point is that ‘sustainability’ is not only possible but essential: only by saving the earth can we save ourselves, and vice versa.”

Here’s hoping things get more sustainable in 2013.

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