Watch out, America — it’s kale time! New York Food Fest organizers have replaced hot dogs with kale for their latest event, to be held on Saturday in Buffalo, New York. The event, Taste of Buffalo Food Festival, usually includes participants competing for different food items including hot dogs, but a slight change of plans this year is making things even more interesting.

Major League Eating (MLE) is organizing a contest featuring the mighty vegetable, kale. Contestants will have to eat as much kale as they can in eight minutes to take back home the $2,000 prize money.

According to the MLE website, “For the first time in human history, the world’s greatest eaters will test themselves against the almighty kale—the leafy green vegetable that has captured the hearts and minds of both the culinary set and those for whom their body is a temple”

The total prize money is $4,000 — $2,000 for the winner, $1,000 for the runner-up, $500 for 3rd place and $350 and $150 for 4th and 5th places respectively.

Hot dogs and other processed and fast foods have been declared harmful for health. Scientific evidence from the British Journal of Cancer sheds lights on the cancer-causing abilities of hot dogs, mortadella, salami, ham, and salted meat. Although some people might argue that eating unhealthy food for one day does not cause significant damage but why put your health at risk when you can simply detoxify your body with the natural wonders of kale?

Coming back to the contest, it will be fun to watch people eating mouthful quantities of a healthy vegetable. According to Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, kale is among one of the healthiest foods on the planet, being is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and major polyphenols that are antioxidants in nature and have the ability to scavenge harmful free radicals produced in our bodies on a daily basis. Moreover, kale is full of other important nutrients such as vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids phosphorus, protein, folate, and niacin.

The move to introduce kale in an eating contest highlights the pro-health spirit of The Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options program which requires each vendor to offer a healthy menu item. According to ABC News, Kale is being offered alongside chicken wings and ice cream at Taste of Buffalo.

According to MLE, Kale is a healthy food option for normal individuals and contains remarkable qualities. Furthermore, “for the Major League Eaters, kale also becomes a great source of prize money and a source of glory.”

About MLE

MLE is an organization specializing in competitive eating and works in collaboration with other private and independent bodies to sponsor, develop, publicize and execute world-class eating events in all varieties of food disciplines.

MLE organizes almost eighty different competitions every year and generates huge ‘consumer impressions’ annually through massive TV viewing figures. One of its most prominent events is ‘Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest’ which has managed to gain more than 300 million consumer impressions on domestic television over just a few weeks.