© Jeff Wasserman / Alamy
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

When it comes to eating contests, probably no event is as publicized as the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held every Fourth of July. (My sincere apologies to Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl.) But even though hardcore fans of Major League Eating (yes, that’s a professional eating circuit) will tell you that when it comes to competitive eating, no food item is off the table –well over 100 records exist for different foods – casual fans might find themselves thinking, Why can’t these competitive eaters chomp down something more healthy?

Well, they can consider themselves answered: The world of trendy superfoods and pro eating will finally collide. Piggybacking off this past weekend’s hot dog competition, but with an eye towards the people who find the idea of chugging down 70 hot dogs in ten minutes disgusting, the Taste of Buffalo food festival is trying to show off a more health-conscious side of competitive eating – or at least as health conscious as eating massive quantities of anything can be – by hosting Kale Yeah, a kale eating contest. This could be the healthiest thing to ever happen in Buffalo. (I’m joking. People in Buffalo eat plenty of carrots and celery.)


Currently, Major League Eating doesn’t list any record for kale on its website, but that’s about to change as this competition is officially sanctioned – set to take place in front of Buffalo’s City Hall at 2pm on Saturday, July 9. Ten eaters will compete; the winner walks with $2,000.

“’Kale Yeah, the World’s Healthiest Eating Championship,’ is a fun way to encourage everyone to digest the importance of eating healthy and choosing healthy options,” Michael Cropp, president & CEO of the Independent Health Foundation, said according to ABC News. “As birthplace of the chicken wing and other food favorites, Buffalo is also leading the way by promoting nutritional options available at the Taste of Buffalo and through this one-of-a-kind special event.”

For the record, competitors won’t be eating the kale plain: It’s being prepared as a salad with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. So all of you on the Mediterranean diet finally have an eating contest all your own.

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