Think you have a hard time eating enough vegetables? Try choking down 25.5 16oz bowls of kale, in a row. Raw. With no dressing or added ingredients. In eight minutes.
That's what competitive eater Gideon Oji did on July 9th to take home the win (and set a world record), and he barely even flinched. The 24-year-old, who hails from Nigeria, has participated in eating competitions for hot dogs, chicken wings, hamburgers, and more over the last year, but he entered his name into the history books thanks to his prowess with the hippest leafy green around.
Gideon said it was the easiest food challenge he's taken on so far, but we wanted more. We wanted to know what kind of poops the Kale King had after his big win, plus other hard-hitting, important questions. So we asked him.
Eating kale is way easier than hot dogs or wings
Gorging on wings and dogs sounds like the perfect summer pastime, whereas eating 25.5 huge bowls of the superfood seems like literal torture. Not for Gideon. Afterwards, he continued on with his day like any normal Saturday.
"I had me a couple beers, ate some snacks afterwards. I wasn't necessarily very full," he says. "It was just leaves." Just 408oz of leaves, like any other weekend.
And he doesn't usually eat kale
"I don't eat salad, I just juice [kale] with some yogurt, strawberries, whatever fruits I have available," he says. "I'm not a big salad person."
So much kale was actually easy on his digestive system
You know that gurgling feeling your stomach gets after you consume too many fibrous foods, and you find yourself rushing to the nearest bathroom? Gideon didn't have that problem. At all. Which goes to show that you kind of have to be born with the competitive-eater gene.
"That's why I do competitive eating, because my body is like a machine, it gets rid of whatever I put through it," he says. "My body digests food fast, so I didn't really go through any pain or anything like that... I actually felt good for a couple days after."
His poop did not turn green
"Let's just say after [eating all the] kale, I had a bunch of other stuff. It came out regular." This seems... hard to believe, but athletes are not mere mortals.
Focusing on swallowing was the hardest part
Plenty of people struggle to consume enough vegetables, so it's very much a mind-over-matter situation in the name of health. The same is true for a record-setting kale competition.
"Swallowing involves a lot of mental and physical [strength]," he says. "I'm working on my swallowing ability, and that's what's giving me the edge, and that's what gave me the edge with kale."
He hopes his 25 bowls of kale can be an example to others
Sure, Gideon's eaten 19 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, and downed 34 ears of corn in 12 minutes. But for the most part, he's a pretty healthy eater. The college student is studying health and fitness -- hey, we're all living contradictions -- and hopes to spread the word on eating a well-balanced diet. His kale-consuming prowess is the symbol America needs, but probably doesn't deserve.
"I feel like I'd be a good advocate for eating healthy, adding vegetables to your diet, adding fruits to your diet, it all goes a long way," he claims. "Especially here in America where most people focus on meat and grains. I come from a country where we eat a lot of vegetables."
He can't wait to dominate kale in 2017
"Next year, it's going to be a better," Gideon predicts. "This is a new ground for me, nobody has done kale before, but now that I know what to expect, I plan on beating my record by a whole lot. And I know a lot of other guys in the country will be gunning for me, so I'm excited. I have the world record and I plan on keeping it."
Watch Gideon in action during the Kale Yeah! competition below:
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.