Chemical ecology provides unique perspectives for managing plant/human interactions to achieve food security. Allelochemicals function as chemical defences of crop plants, enhancing yields. While ingested allelochemicals can confer health benefits to humans, at higher concentrations they are often toxic. The delicate balance between their positive and negative effects in crop plants is influenced by many factors. Some of these-how environment affects optimal levels of defence, how metabolic interactions with nutrients affect toxicity of ingested allelochemicals-are the province of chemical ecology.