A 24-year-old Georgia man went on a health kick in Buffalo over the weekend and, on Saturday afternoon, won the first kale eating contest that included sanctioned Major League Eating competitors.
Gideon "The Truth" Oji, from Marrow, Ga., hoisted the Kale Cup – a bowl of the fresh, green, slightly bitter veggie – after downing 25 half bowls of kale salad in eight minutes during the Taste of Buffalo.
Kale Yeah! The World’s Healthiest Eating Championship, was the first eating contest in the 33-year history of the two-day festival.
See a video of the contest here.
The Independent Health Foundation hosted the contest on the steps of City Hall. Joe’s Deli concocted the competition fare: kale dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Oji, ranked 10th nationally in Major League eating, left with more than the green in his belly; he also took home $2,000.
Carrie Meyer, executive director of the foundation, said a 100 gram serving of raw kale contains a mere 49 calories and is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Kale is also a good source of vitamin B6 and several dietary minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
The Foundation a decade ago convinced Taste organizers to require that participating restaurants include at least one healthy option in its festival offerings.
Winners from this year's Healthy Options contest were:
First Place: Sweet Melody’s - Sorbet with Fresh Fruit Topping
Second Place: White Rabbit - Pomegranate & Raspberry Sorbet
Third Place: Mineo & Sapio Street Eats - Chicken in the Grass Sandwich