"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving."
When Joseph Smith received the Word of Wisdom, the phrasing in this verse probably meant very little. When could you eat an herb or fruit except in its season? Nothing else would have been possible, to my knowledge, on the nineteenth-century American frontier.
In today's globalized food economy, though, the phrasing may have a special prophetic resonance. Relatively few people are concerned with what's in season or local in days when everything can be shipped from the other side of the world to a nearby grocery store.
And yet--how much fuel might be saved and environmental damage avoided if we would base more of our diet, once again, off more locally-grown, in-season grains, fruits, and vegetables? How much more prepared would our communities be for coming days of calamity if we were already growing a higher percentage of our food within a more accessible range of distance?
Perhaps hidden in the text of the Word of Wisdom are warnings with extra potential in our day to help us keep balance in an overconfident and often short-sighted world.