Clemenza is the Co-Founder of “The Meat Mafia” and Co-Host of “The Meat Mafia Podcast”. He has over 30 thousand Twitter followers and is one of the leading people in the world today working to bring back an ancestral, meat-based diet. I had the chance to meet him back in January 2022 on Twitter, and this interview was written in July of 2022. I have personally benefited greatly from their work and continue to be amazed at their knowledge of nutrition. You can check out their podcast here. Find Clemenza on Twitter here.
- Where Did You Grow Up And How Has That Impacted Your Outlook And Beliefs?
I grew up in a unique part of the world outside of Washington, DC. I say unique because, like most people growing up in and around DC, you are exposed to the world of politics whether you like it or not. The government’s role in society has always been an interest of mine and I attribute that to growing up so close to the political epicenter of the United States. Similarly, I grew up spending a great deal of time in rural areas around the city and saw the contrast between urban and rural America. I grew up with a close relationship with my grandmother whose father owned a small grocery store in a one-stop-light town during the Great Depression, which gave me a real appreciation for food’s role in creating and supporting the resiliency of communities during challenging times.
- When Did You Know You Loved Creating Food Content?
I started writing for Texas Slim in December of 2021 and immediately fell in love with long-form writing about the food system. We are living through a period of unprecedented change and nothing has changed more quickly, to the detriment of our population, than food. We went from thinking and knowing meat and saturated fat to be a healthy food to believing grains and corn to be the bedrock of nutritional standards. The stories on how we got to where we are today are endlessly fascinating. Very few people are talking about it, so getting to share some of our research with others has been inspiring and rewarding.
- What Is The Meat Mafia?
The Meat Mafia is a stance against the current direction of our food system. Me (Clemenza) and Sollozzo created the Meat Mafia to lead a Real Food Renaissance into existence by educating people on the importance of supporting basic principles: eating real foods, supporting local food economies, and taking autonomy of your health through growing, sourcing, and cooking your own food. We started on Twitter, but have built our podcast quickly over the last three months. We currently have 115 episodes recorded and plan to continue to grow our media presence to raise awareness and inform people about these important and forgotten topics around food.
- What Inspires You To Continue Producing Content?
The inspiration is derived from our own health stories and sharing what we have learned about overcoming health complications through better nutrition. Our food system is our healthcare system and if we continue to ignore the problems in our food system, we are quickly going to be living in a very, very sick world. That is what inspires us. We believe everyone has the right to the richness of health and longevity.
- What Has Been The Most Exciting Part Of Your Journey So Far?
The entire process has been so exciting for us. The best part about the process has been sharing the struggles and accomplishments between two best friends. Both of us love the process of growth and the most fulfilling part is having the chance to work with someone who you admire and who pushes you. Sollozzo and I started writing after living together and running an Ironman together, so we share a respect and appreciation for each other on a level that’s challenging to recreate.
- What Is Something People Don’t Know About You?
I’ve lived in more than one European city (Amsterdam, Florence) during my adult life. Both cities at one point in history grew to become global powers and the history of both cities formed many of my world views.
- Who Is An Author/Public Figure You Look Up To?
I admire the work of Wendell Berry, Joel Salatin, Allan Savory, and Will Harris, as people who have stuck to their principles and beliefs around creating a better food system for people and the planet. Each of them understands the ecological, economic, and cultural struggles of our time in ways very few do. I am also a huge fan of people who have mastered the art of longevity and creating healthy lifestyles over a long period of time. There is no one who does this better than Mark Sisson. He’s someone who embraces life through health and nutrition and I truly admire his outlook on life.
- Where Do You See Yourself In The Future?
Our goal with the Meat Mafia from the beginning was to buy a farm and host incredible in-person events to share our insights on the food system and health. We have a passion for driving people towards eating more real food and break the existing paradigm around food. It’s fundamental in creating a prosperous society and our mission is to raise awareness around the food system and personal health. We think the coolest and most fun way to do that is through in-person events on a farm where people can reconnect with their food.
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