This thesis documents recent change in global food supplies, finding increasing homogeneity in the diversity of crops eaten around the world. It then explores the potential for the wild relatives of crops to help to mitigate vulnerabilities in the global food system by providing genetic diversity through crop breeding. Wild relative species are documented on the national level in the USA, finding that many species related to a long list of crops occur in the country. Conservation needs and genetic resource potential of wild relatives are analyzed for three important food crops - beans, sweetpotato, and pigeonpea - finding that further collecting for conservation of these species in genebanks is urgently needed. The thesis culminates in an exploration of the degree to which international collaboration is required in order to achieve access to genetic resources where they are needed. Countries were found to be highly dependent on crops whose genetic diversity largely sources from outside their borders, bolstering evidence for the need for effective national and international policies to promote genetic resource conservation and exchange.