The Tackle Challenge: Why You Want the Jets’ Calvin Pace to Crush Bones

That's a Fuji apple from Union Square Greenmarket, by the way. Photograph by Stephen Munshin.

We don’t usually write about sports. But we are drawn to those moments in New York life when food enthusiasm and sports enthusiasm intersect.

Like the Mets-inspired Meats shirts we just wrote about this morning. Or our favorite linebacker, Jets star Calvin Pace, who first charmed us a couple seasons ago with his understated appreciation of Manhattan restaurants, his recipe for Brussels sprouts roasted “with a little olive oil and balsamic,” and the reasons why he eats fewer hog maws than he used to.

Now, he’s charming us again with the announcement that Whole Foods Market will donate $25 to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Pediatric Obesity Program every time Pace pins someone to the turf.  He’s kicking off the challenge with a demo at the Rose City Whole Foods store in north Jersey on September 14. And we’ll be pulling for him this Monday night when the Baltimore Ravens will be the first team to help with this fundraiser.

The Tackle Challenge is part of a larger interest that Pace and Whole Foods share in preventing childhood obesity. The per-tackle donation comes from the Rose City Madison and Millburn Whole Foods Market stores in New Jersey and will benefit St. Joseph’s Up, Up and Aweigh, a 16-week outpatient weight management program that teaches child patients healthy shopping skills, how to control their meal portion and why they can exercise anytime, anywhere.

And Pace will likely surface at Whole Foods again before the harvest season is out. Rumor has it that he’s on the short list of judges (along with Taste of Greenmarket chef and Edible tastemaker Marcus Samuelson, who recently demoed grilled chicken, tomato and watermelon salad and couscous for 150 kids at the Harlem YMCA) for the next round of the grocer’s Teen Iron Chef Showdown. Whole Foods Markets in the Northeast will host 4 Teen Iron Chef Showdowns this fall–in a program that might go national–with the first kicking off on October 9, featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz of Health Corp and the Food Network’s Ellie Kreiger.

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Brian is the editor in chief of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.