An apparatus and process for producing humanly edible food from Jatropha curcas L. (JCL) or a similar plant or an algae comprises an air-tight tank (200) for containing a mixture of water, a fermenting press cake (125) of JCL seeds, yeast and other ingredients (289), including amylase and a fungus, a container for mash (290) produced during fermentation, a still (300) with a distillation column (355) for separating ethanol (360) from water, a container for ethanol (365), a source of water (215), and combustible sources (261, 296, 335) for providing heat to a plurality of burners (260, 288, 320). Ethanol produced during fermentation extracts toxic phorbol esters from the mash. After fermentation, the water and ethanol are removed from the tank and moved to the still. The mash is moved to a container (286) where it is heated to decompose toxic lectins therein, rendering the mash edible by humans and other animals. After separation in the still, the water is returned to the local source, the ethanol is saved for sale or use as a heat source for the burners, and the phorbol esters are removed from the still for safe disposal.
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