“March Madness?” How about “Veggie Madness!”

tmp495288363113250817In a unique and healthy twist on the traditional “March Madness” college basketball tournament, Oregon State University and PacificSource Healthy Life have joined forces to identify a “Sweet 16” of vegetables and develop a tournament bracket to crown the Veggie Madness Champion.

“Oregon State University’s Healthy Campus Initiative looks for entertaining and engaging ways to educate students and staff about living healthy, and Veggie Madness ties in great with two popular programs: National Nutrition Month and March Madness,” said Lisa Hoogesteger, director of Healthy Campus Initiatives for Oregon State University. “It’s a lighthearted take on the serious subject of eating healthy, which along with being active, managing stress, and creating smoke/tobacco free environments make up the four pillars of health in our partnership with PacificSource Health Plans.”

Artichoke vs. asparagus, Brussels sprouts vs. collard greens, cucumber vs. bell pepper, and eggplant vs. radish are just some of the matchups that were examined in the quest to identify a Final Four of veggies, which has been narrowed down to asparagus, kale, broccoli, and bell peppers. The public will be invited to vote online at http://oregonstate.edu/recsports/veggie-madness March 3-5, or try a taste test at Oregon State University’s National Nutrition Month event in the MU Quad, March 4-5.

“Too often we take the foods we eat for granted and don’t always consider the nutritional punch that they pack, but Veggie Madness puts everyday vegetables in a whole new light,” said Alexa Shook, director of PacificSource Healthy Life. “We’re excited to be collaborating with the University’s Healthy Campus Initiative to bring this competition to Beaver Nation, in addition to a number of great programs throughout the academic year.”

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