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Engage Hemp Health Whole Plant Goodness™

We love making your food tastier and healthier without salt. Now you can reap the entourage benefits of Hemp, Whole Plant Goodness™, by shaking hemp health seasonings into everything you cook.


Loss of Abilities . . . Call the Cavalry

When loss of hope shatters the present moment, it triggers strong emotions, realizing there is no meditation, medication, positive outlook, exercise or smoothie can fix it.

Ironically, most people view loss and disability as something that should not happen, rather than recognizing it as a window to a new reality that teaches the powerful lessons about how to find deeper meaning and make a contribution through chronic illness.

My husband, Jon Gage, and I faced the consequences of disability and loss, 10-years so, once Jon was diagnosed with Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia.

Just pronouncing the disease was difficult enough. Understanding what was to come and our ability to handle the challenges were daunting.

Jon’s diagnosis revealed he had a rare genetic disease, which wasn’t discovered by the medical community until the mid-1990’s. Ataxia is a close relative of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), most often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

This condition leads to the death of neurons that are responsible for voluntary movement. Damage to the motor cortex, which sends messages to muscles and nerves, impact the ability to move and get feedback from movements.

Before Jon became symptomatic, he was blessed with athletic ability, social and business skills, and a zest for life, which was peppered with a great sense of humor. Ataxia held all his gifts captive.

Now, 10 years later, damage to the motor cortex has robbed Jon of most of his motor abilities. He is in a wheelchair, cannot feel his hands, feet or legs, and is slowly losing his ability to talk and swallow. Ataxia is a cruel disease that ultimately steals independence and all bodily functions. And there is no known cure for this disease—an excruciating challenge for someone with so many physical gifts who had always been in the driver’s seat of his blessed life.

Jon’s loss of abilities intensified when pharmaceuticals failed to work. Medication only exaggerated his seizures, which turned his humor into anger. We were stymied about how to deal with medications that seemed to worsen his symptoms and further rob him of his independence.

Every day brought new challenges in how to navigate a world with limited options. Hanging on to hope was challenging.

Just when things seemed so dire . . . hope set in.

We bless the day our friend, Richard Rose, changed our lives by sending abstracts about the health benefits of using industrial hemp.

Until then, we thought hemp was for stoners.

We couldn’t have been more misinformed.

As it turns out, we were ignorant that industrial hemp had healing powers. Jon’s balance was already challenging, so getting “high” would be the worst thing for his safety.

We didn’t realize that hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the cannabis genus of plants and are bred for different purposes.

Hemp powder is exclusively produced by Cannabis sativa plants, while marijuana can refer to the sub-genus of Cannabis sativa.

“Hemp powder is grown for high percentages of cannabidiol, whereas, marijuana strains of cannabis are typically bred for maximizing the concentration of THC.

Hemp does not produce a “high” and is used to create medicinal remedies because it does not produce psychoactive effects. Hemp is food, not marijuana.

Fortunately, the research Richard sent educated us about the healing benefits of cannabidiol, and is abundant in hemp.

Without this distinction, I doubt Jon would have been open to using hemp. Understanding the difference opened a window of hope and purpose.

The Internet is replete with products and information about cannabidiol.

Granted, we found some of the Google links difficult to comprehend. But learning that there are options available intensified hope.

The idea that cannabis has been part of civilization for 12,000 years was eye-opening. We were encouraged to learn about the healing benefits of this ancient plant people have used throughout time.

It wasn’t a stretch for us to understand the importance of antioxidant properties of plants. After all, we had spent years creating organic salt-free seasoning blends.

Despite our dance with herbs and spices over the years, we had been ignorant to the fact that cannabidiol is one of 85 phyto-cannabinoids known to currently exist in the cannabis plant, and that these compounds have excellent antioxidant properties involved in keeping the body system in a balanced homeostatic state.

Learning about the incredible properties of this plant, we found new hope and purpose which brought us to a new level of commitment.

But because hemp has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, we felt hamstrung to share the healing benefits of industrial hemp. How could we help others afflicted with debilitating illness? How could we bring hope and purpose to their lives if we can’t discuss the benefits of hemp?

We understood Jon’s disease was not going to go away—nothing could do that. But what we did know personally is that by using hemp on a daily basis, Jon was sleeping better and was requiring less pharmaceutical medication. He no longer needed to take anxiety pills. His anger was escaping.

These results gave us a new mission. A new reason to continue embracing our challenges instead of wanting to escape.

Our belief in the ability of hemp to heal, urged us to call in the cavalry to help us create a product to help others.

After months of perfecting the hemp process to ensure we were delivering all the phyto-nutrients without harming them in the processing—our hemp infused seasoning blends were born. Born with a mission and purpose to educate others about the benefits of Hemp.

engage-whole-plant-goodness-groupThe result is a flavorful line of new seasonings. The Garlic-Mix can be used in virtually everything you cook and the Popcorn-Mix adds healthful zest to plain popcorn. The blends are delicious and have no medicinal after-taste.

Hopefully, our new line of Engage Hemp Health Seasonings and Engage Hemp Health Powder will deliver options for people wanting to maintain their health and vitality.

Despite Jon’s debilitating loss of abilities, we have been blessed with the help of our son, Jason, to make something good from the challenges we been given. Jon is dedicated to staying involved in the business and is working with the Ataxia Foundation to create donations to help conquer this cruel disease.

Hemp has given us the ability to make better health choices for how to live a well-lived life with hope and purpose.

We wish you a well-lived life of abundance and gratitude and hope you join us in our commitment to helping others who suffer from debilitating illness.

Kelseyville Company’s Salt-Free Spices Revival

Pat Gage is hoping she can catch lightning in a bottle a second time. Salt-free lightning.

Gage, a Kelseyville resident and self-described serial entrepreneur, is reviving the salt-free spice recipes that she first commercially produced three decades ago in Sonoma County. Her original company, Parsley Patch, was successful enough that global spice manufacturer McCormick & Co. purchased the business in 1987.

Now, Gage and her family are reviving recipes like “Garlicsaltless,” one of the Parsley Patch’s more popular blends. But this time, their two-year-old company, Engage Organics, is bottling spices that not only are sodium free, but also organic, gluten free and non-GMO.

The company’s products are featured online and in more than 100 Bay Area stores, Gage said

Engage Organics touts not only the health benefits but also the flavor of its nine blends — soon to be 11 varieties.

“It makes things taste so good,” said Gage, “and you don’t have to know how to season things.”

Along with Gage, the family business includes her husband, Jon Gage, son Jason Sherwood and nephew Jeremy Fitzpatrick.

Gage was a single mother named Pat Sherwood in 1980 when she teamed up with Elizabeth Bertani to start Parsley Patch. The two women, both Sonoma State University students, took out student loans in order to launch the business.

Their products drew considerable interest when they debuted at a 1981 food trade show.

A September 2012 Vegetarian Times story noted that the young company then was selling its products in 25 states. The blends were showing up in such diverse places as the Neiman-Marcus Spring Catalogue and the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica.

In 1984, Bertani sold her stake in the company to Jon Gage, an owner in a specialty foods brokerage that was marketing Parsley Patch. Pat Sherwood and Jon Gage married that same year.

In 1987, the Gages sold their business to McCormick, today a 125-year-old company with more than 10,000 employees. The couple went on to found other companies, including an athletic club and spa in Park City, Utah, and a soy beverage business targeting women.

“This is my fifth startup,” Gage said.

She and her husband decided to revive their spice recipes after watching the demise of all their original blends, especially Garlicsaltless, which she said she continued to depend on for her own cooking. Her inability to purchase it caused her to “get the message” about the need to revive their blends.

The family began Engage Organics in early 2012.

The family is able to use the original recipes, which can’t be trademarked, Gage said.

What’s different today is that the company can use certified organic ingredients, as well as those that are gluten free and certified free of genetically modified organisms. Those qualities make Engage Organics different and more appealing to certain consumers, especially millennials.

“They’re very food savvy,” Gage said. “I salute them for wanting to know what’s in their food.”

Before the sale, Parsley Patch had a 33 percent market share of natural, sodium-free spice blends in the U.S., Gage said. That’s her family’s goal with Engage Organics.

To reach that goal, the owners want to expand into more natural food stores in the western U.S.

In Sonoma County, the spice blends can be found at Oliver’s Markets, Sonoma Market, Big John’s Market, Molsberry Market, Pacific Market, Fiesta Market and Raley’s supermarkets.

At Oliver’s Market on Montecito Boulevard, store manager Frank Camilleri said Engage Organics has done in-store demonstrations “and customers just love it.”

Taste is often lacking with salt-free spice blends, Camilleri said, “where this really enhances the product you put it on.”

The Press Democrat business article published September 4, 2014  |  www.pressdemocrat.com/home/2669427-181/kelseyville-companys-salt-free-spices-revival

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at (707) 521-5285 or robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @rdigit

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