Nonylphenol (NP) and its detrimental effects on the environment, humans, wildlife, fish and birds is an increasingly important global research focus. The number of investigations on the toxicity and metabolic fate of NP in plants is however limited. This paper reviews the prevalence and source of NP in plants and the effect it has on its morphological, physiological and ultrastructural status. Fruit and vegetables have been found to contain levels of NP that is twenty-fold exceeding the no observable effect level (NOEL) of freshwater algae. Apart from the potential risk this poses to the health of consumers, it can overburden the plant’s natural defence system, leading to growth disorders. Plants exposed to NP show signs of overall growth reduction, changes in organelle structure and oxidative damage. These adverse effects may exacerbate the food security dilemma faced by many countries and impede their progress towards attaining the sustainable development goals.