Competitive Eater Gobbles 25.5 Bowls of Kale in 8 Minutes
When you think of competitive-eating contests, you probably think hot dogs and Coney Island, or maybe chicken wings and Philadelphia — but Buffalo is trying to stake its claim to be the home of competitive kale eating.
During the two-day Taste of Buffalo food festival, the Western New York burg hosted the “first-ever sanctioned kale-eating contest” on Saturday, July 9. Billed as the World’s Healthiest Eating Championship, the event took place on the steps of city hall.
About 10 competitive eaters of various shapes and sizes from across the country, all wearing orange T-shirts printed with the phrase “It’s Crunch Time,” were given 16-ounce bowls of kale lightly dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and challenged to eat as many of them as possible in eight minutes.
“Synchronizing your fork with your jaw is key to a capacity contest like this. If you shovel too much in your mouth, it’s going to get you caught up — not enough and you won’t hit the numbers that you need to succeed,” the event’s bow-tie-wearing emcee told the crowd of excited, smartphone-wielding onlookers.
Collectively, the competing eaters munched their way through 45 bowls of kale, the Guardian reports. Impressive, yet only one of them would collect the top prize of $2,000. That honor (and purse) went to Gideon “The Truth” Oji, who is ranked No. 10 among the world’s competitive eaters by Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating.
Oji scarfed down 25 1/2 bowls of kale in the eight minutes allotted (yes, more than half of all the contest kale consumed and purportedly a kale-eating record). And while the coin for eating all that kale was not chump change (though perhaps it was chomp change), the Georgia-dwelling 24-year-old said he wasn’t doing it for the money, but rather for the thrill of the win.
“I’m a health and fitness professional, and I’ve been on the road eating hot dogs, chicken, everything, all the American food, so there’s [nothing] that does me justice [more] than being the world’s healthiest man and winning the kale championship,” Oji, who even ceremoniously gobbled a bit of the decorative kale emerging from his leaf-colored trophy, told local station WBBZTV. “It was just personal for me to come down here and win this trophy.”
Were his less-successful competitors green with envy? Maybe. Or maybe they were just … green.
Photo courtesy of iStock