Top Major League Eaters to compete at Kale Yeah!

Top Major League Eaters to compete at Kale Yeah! The World’s Healthiest Eating Championship

BUFFALO, NY, July 1, 2016 – The Independent Health Foundation and the sanctioning body for eating competitions throughout the U.S. have cooked up a fun, new entrée, Kale Yeah! The World’s Healthiest Eating Championship. Professional eaters will compete for the Kale Cup during the 2016 Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops, the nation’s largest two-day food festival, on Saturday, July 9 at 2 p.m. on the steps of City Hall.

Presented by Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program, long-time sanctioned Major League Eaters (MLE), including Badlands Booker and Crazy Legs Conti, will compete to become the healthiest competitive eater on the planet by consuming as much kale as possible in eight minutes!

“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,” said Michael Cropp, MD, President & CEO, Independent Health, and President, Independent Health Foundation. “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.”

In 2007, the Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options program was integrated into the Taste of Buffalo, making it the first food festival in the U.S. to require all participating restaurants offer a healthy menu option. Healthy Options continues to be an integral part of the Taste by presenting cash prizes awarded to the top three restaurants offering the best-tasting, healthy dishes.

“MLE is honored to partner with Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program by hosting Kale Yeah! The Worlds Healthiest Eating Championship,” says Major League Eating emcee, Sam Barclay. “We have top eaters from around the world coming to this healthy fest; July 9th will be one for the record books!”

Kale Yeah! will have both seasoned and local professional eaters sanctioned by Major League Eating to compete for prizes totalling$4,000. Those entered in this competition will eat kale salads with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

“In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Taste’s participation in Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program, we are excited to bring national attention to the importance of healthy eating with the world’s first kale eating competition at this year’s Taste,” said Jen Mitri, 2016 chair, Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops. “In addition to providing festivalgoers with an opportunity to sample ‘Healthy Options’ at each of our 62 restaurants and food trucks, by partnering with Independent Health Foundation and Major League Eating, professional eaters are also taking on a healthier alternative in what’s sure to be a fun kale-filled afternoon.”

Kale was chosen for this healthy eating championship as one of the most nutritional vegetables containing many health benefits, according to Carrie Meyer, Executive Director, Independent Health Foundation. In a 100 gram serving, raw kale provides 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 Independent Health Foundation Healthy Options program is a proud sponsor of the 2016 Taste of Buffalo, the largest two-day food festival in the U.S. held on July 9-10 in Downtown Buffalo. More information is available online at healthyoptionsbuffalo.com/taste.

In 2004, the Independent Health Foundation created the Healthy Options Buffalo program to help everyone throughout Western New York make informed decisions about healthy eating, and as a result, help address the high rates of stroke and heart disease prevalent in this community. Through this program, the Foundation works with area restaurants to offer heart-healthy food options that are considered lower in fat, saturated fat cholesterol, and sodium.

About Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options Program
The Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options Program works with over 170 area restaurants and food trucks to offer heart-healthy food options across Western New York. The Healthy Options program partners with local organizations, such as Taste of Buffalo, to make eating healthy both easy and delicious. You can find a full list of participating restaurants, cooking classes, dining tips, recipes and more at www.HealthyOptionsBuffalo.com.

About Major League Eating
Major League Eating (MLE), the world governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducts more than 80 events annually, including the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y. The competitive eating community is made up of more than 8,000 veteran and rookie gurgitators who travel the nation in search of top titles and the glory that they provide. For more information, visit www.IFOCE.com, www.facebook.com/eatfast or twitter @eatingcontest.