Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

Word of Wisdom: Definite WoW


Many church members argue that the Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 89) is evidence of Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. After all, he revealed that church members should abstain from tobacco long before medical researchers had begun to prove the harmful effects of chronic tobacco use in the 1960s and 70s.

But I think there are even more nuggets of prophecy contained in the Lord’s Code of Health. In D&C 89:11, it reads:

And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving (emphasis added).

Eating fruits (and also vegetables) in their appropriate season has become even more important in our day than it was in Joseph Smith’s day.

Most American supermarkets today look the same from week to week. You can buy a tomato any time of the year, regardless of whether tomatoes are in season in North America or not. When they are not in season, tomatoes have to travel much farther to get to our dinner plate.

Eating fruits and vegetables in season, however, has many advantages, such as:

  • It’s cheaper because you didn’t have to pay for the high cost of transportation
  • It uses less fuel to get to your local supermarket and therefore produces fewer carbon emissions
  • It supports the local agricultural economy (wouldn’t it be nice to actually know the people who grow the food you eat?)
  • Foods that are in season taste much, much better and are more nutritious

But since most of us in America no longer grow our own food, we’ve lost touch with our understanding of nature’s cycles. It’s fairly difficult to really know what is in season. Fortunately, there’s a great website out there called Eat the Seasons that lists which foods are in season that particular week, shares fun facts about those foods, and even gives delicious recipes for the foods that are in season at that time. I’d recommend checking it out.

I say it’s no coincidence that the Word of Wisdom is commonly abbreviated as WoW. I say: wow, indeed.