Forests underpin food production on local to global scales. Local communities and indigenous peoples have survived on food collected in tropical forests including wild meat, fruit and plants for thousands of years. For many rural populations tropical forests provide a fallback supply of food when personal, environmental, or economic crises occur. Small-scale farmers who clear land to grow food also depend on forests’ ability to recycle nutrients and prevent soil erosion. Many farmers also depend on forest insects such as bees to pollinate their crops and as much as a third of fish caught each year in SE Asia depend on coastal mangrove forests. At regional and continental scales, forests help to recycle water vapour that falls as rain in agricultural areas far from the forest border. In Amazonia, winds carry moisture recycled by the forest in ‘flying rivers’ down to the south of Brazil and beyond, supporting agricultural production in the South American breadbasket.