In 1960, about 100,000 turkeys in England suddenly died. The turkeys were fine up until the night before their death. Tests showed that the turkeys were poisoned—their fate was called Turkey X disease. The turkeys had been fed groundnuts from Brazil, and those groundnuts contained something called aflatoxin, a carcinogenic toxin.
Aflatoxin contamination creeps up from mold in foods such as maize and peanuts; this especially happens in hot and humid climates. This contamination can be fatal, cause liver cancer and be a cause for stunted growth in children.
A team at the University of Kentucky, dubbed the UK Wildcats, is building a turbine, made with affordable materials that local farmers could replicate and use to efficiently dry grains.
Roxanne Scott traveled to Nigeria and spoke to farmers, grain merchants, chemists and engineers to explore the health and economic effects of aflatoxin contamination.