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Hold the wings: Competitive eaters at Taste of Buffalo to chow down on kale

Professional eaters with an eye on their cholesterol levels will help mark the Taste of Buffalo Saturday as they compete for the Kale Cup.

The eight-minute eat-off starts at 2 p.m. on the steps of City Hall in Niagara Square where contenders including Eric “Badlands” Booker and “Crazy Legs” Conti are determined to become the healthiest competitive eater in town.

The contest is sponsored by Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program in conjunction with Major League Eaters. Prizes totaling $4,000 will be awarded.

Visitors to the food festival can expect several healthy options among the offerings served up by the 62 participating restaurants and food trucks.

Expected to stuff their faces are:

• Eric “Badlands” Booker of Selden, N.J. is 47 and weighs 365 pounds. He is ranked 14th as a professional eater and works as a conductor on the New York subway.

• Carmen Cincotti of East Windsor, N.J., is 23 and weighs in at 150. He ranks 15th. His eating best is 42 hot dogs and buns in 10 min.

• Marcos “The Monster” Owens of Hillside, N.J. is 28 and weighs 269 pounds. He ate 34 cannoli in six minutes.

• “Buffalo” Jim Reeves of Boston, N.Y., 47, weighs 240 pounds and teaches math and computer science at Gowanda High School. He also holds the title as the only gurgitator to compete in every National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival since its inception in 2002.

• Crazy Legs Conti, 45, of New York City is the current French-cut green bean eating champion. Conti weighs in at 233 pounds.

• Danielle Giola of Wappinger’s Falls is 23 and works as a long-haul truck driver. She once ate 35 Twinkies in six minutes.

• Michael Deitz of Lebanon, Pa. is 37 and weighs in at 385. An MLE rookie, he ate 10 West Virginian pepperoni rolls in 10 minutes.

• Ben Do, 28, of Kitchener, Ont. weighs 210 pounds. Do ate seven pounds of poutine in 10 minutes.

• Alicia Hill of Chicago is in her rookie year as a professional eater.