You never know when disaster or another pandemic will strike, and if it does, you want to be prepared with gluten-free emergency food. In this article, I share nine brands that offer gluten-free “survival food” to help you up your emergency preparedness game. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
If you’re navigating the world with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, or another autoimmune disease that requires you to eat gluten-free, it’s essential to have a game plan for those unforeseen circumstances when you might not have immediate access to food that meets your special dietary restrictions.
Emergency preparedness is a necessity, not a choice, for the gluten-free community, and I want to help you stay safe and satiated during even the most challenging and unpredictable situations. Such events might include natural disasters, power outages, pandemics, snow storms, evacuations, and outdoor adventures to remote locations for extended periods.
Emergencies can strike at any time, and as someone who understands the “diet” struggle firsthand, I’m here to help you prepare for the unexpected.
I know that your survival food must be free from gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. You must also beware of oats, which are cross-contaminated with wheat unless otherwise specified. (Many emergency meals contain oats – beware!).
It’s vital that you stay healthy and avoid getting sick, especially during a national crisis. You don’t want to make your life or health worse, and medical attention and medications you take for granted may not be readily available to you.
In this article, I’ll help you explore the world of gluten-free emergency food supplies for when the unexpected happens, as well as freeze-dried meals that you can use when you’re traveling, backpacking, camping, or in other situations where safe, gluten-free food may not be readily available.
9 Emergency and Survival Food Brands
Preparing for an emergency is intelligent and forward-thinking, offering you peace of mind in unpredictable situations. The following brands make gluten-free emergency kits and freeze-dried meals safe for celiac and gluten-intolerant communities.
(1) Mountain House
Mountain House is one of the few emergency food brands that offer GFCO-certified gluten-free meals, which is why they’re at the top of my emergency food list.
These convenient pouch meals can be taken on any outdoor or travel adventure or stored at home when you need to tap into your emergency meal supply on a rainy day.
Each pouch includes two servings, but they vary in nutritional value. For example, the Beef Stew contains 10 grams of protein and six grams of fiber. The Rice and Chicken pouch contains only seven grams of protein and one gram of fiber.
While Mountain House offers emergency supply kits that include dozens of meals you can tuck away for an emergency situation, not all the meals included inside the kits are gluten-free. Therefore, I suggest purchasing individual pouches or canisters so you can be certain that all your Mountain House meals are gluten-free.
I think Mountain House offers some of the most delicious-sounding flavors and varieties in the emergency food market, including:
- Breakfast Skillet
- Beef Stew
- Chicken Fajita Bowl
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Chicken Teriyaki with Rice
- Mexican Adobo Rice & Chicken
- Pad Thai with Chicken
- Rice and Chicken
- Scrambled Eggs
- Scrambled Eggs with Uncured Bacon
- Veggie Chorizo Breakfast Scramble
- Yellow Curry with Chicken & Rice
Between the delicious-sounding varieties, the GFCO certification, and a guaranteed 30-year shelf life, Mountain House will definitely have you covered in case the unexpected occurs.
(2) Augason Farms
Augason Farms also provides shelf-stable food options designed for long-term storage, emergency preparedness, and everyday meals. Many pouch meals and canisters are also certified gluten-free by the GFCO.
Some of the Augason Farms gluten-free meals and foods include:
- Black Bean Burger Mix
- Freeze-Dried Fruits (various fruits)
- Freeze-Dried Vegetables (various vegetables)
- Freeze-Dried Meat (beef and chicken)
- Vegetable Stew
- Scrambled Eggs
If the item is certified gluten-free, it will bear the GFCO logo on its packaging, as you’ll see on the following canisters of dried fruits.
Auguson Farms doesn’t offer the same breadth of complete meals as Mountain House or other survival food companies, but it does provide an excellent selection of freeze-dried fruits, eggs, vegetables, milk, and other accompaniments, all of which are safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
(3) Wild Zora
Wild Zora makes several varieties of high-quality Paleo Meals To Go and Soups, all of which are gluten-free, paleo, and grain-free. Like Mountain House meals, all you need to do is grab a pouch, spoon, and bottle of water before heading out on any outdoor or travel adventure.
I often pack Wild Zora meals when I go skiing. I also bring them on road trips and use them as “backup food” in case I get stuck on an airplane, at an airport, or in a car in the middle of nowhere with no safe food options readily available.
Wild Zora meals are light, portable, and genuinely delicious. The nutrient-dense meals come in the following four meal varieties:
- Summit Savory Chicken
- Caldera Chicken Curry
- Bedrock Beef Chili
- Mountain Beef Stew
I recently purchased a 4-pack of the Mountain Beef Stew and Summit Savory Chicken (pictured below) to enjoy while skiing with my family this winter. It’s always a hit and much cheaper and safer than buying food on the mountain.
Wild Zora also makes several flaxseed-based breakfast meals in flavors such as Cliffside Coconut Berry, Butte Cacao Banana, and Palliside Pineapple Mango, as well as freeze-dried soups including Lemon Chicken with Carrots, Mushroom Beef, Tuscan Chicken, and Picante Beef soup.
Unfortunately, Wild Zora meals have a smaller shelf life than their competitors. The meals vary from 18 months for the Paleo Breakfast Meals to 24 months for the Soups and 36 months for the Meat Paleo Meals. This means Wild Zora meals are better as emergency food when traveling or enjoying outdoor adventures than they are as long-term survivalist food.
(4) Legacy Premium
Legacy Premium says its emergency food is celiac-safe and contains no wheat, rye, barley, soy, oats, brewer’s yeast, or modified food starch. It’s not, however, certified gluten-free by a third-party organization like Mountain House or Augson Farms.
You can choose from various sampling packs and emergency food kits, including a gluten-free emergency bucket containing enough food to feed one person lunch and dinner every day for six months!
Inside the bucket, you’ll find meals such as Cheese & Broccoli Bake, Creamy A La King, and White Bean Chili Mix. You can’t mix and match meals, so hopefully, you like what they include.
You can also purchase freeze-dried containers of diced beef and chicken from Legacy. These products have a 10 to 15-year shelf-life. Legacy also sells freeze-dried fruits and vegetables and parboiled white rice with a long shelf life. The rice would pair well with the diced chicken bits and freeze-dried vegetables.
As a picky eater myself, I wasn’t excited by the choice of gluten-free entrees from Legacy Premium. Everyone has different tastes, so if they sound good to you, go for it. But if you’re picky, like me, you might pick items a la carte, like dried fruits, vegetables, meats, and rice, or skip this brand altogether.
ReadyWise offers a Grab & Go Gluten-Free Bucket that includes 84 servings of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods ready in minutes. Just add water.
The bucket of gluten-free emergency food has a 25-year shelf life and includes the following items:
- 4 pouches of Teriyaki and Rice (24 Servings)
- 3 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (18 Servings)
- 3 pouches of Potatoes and Chicken Flavored Pot Pie (18 Servings)
- 3 pouches of Creamy Yogurt Style Dessert (24 Servings)
I gagged at the thought of having to eat so much yogurt, so I would likely pass on the “Bucket” and instead opt to buy items a la carte, like freeze-dried fruits and vegetables and powdered eggs. They also carry whey milk alternatives, among other options.
I would also prefer to purchase ReadyWise Outdoor Adventure Meals, which sound delicious and would be great for emergencies or outdoor adventures like backpacking, hiking, camping, skiing, etc. Again, all you’ll have to do to prepare these meals is to add water. You can eat the meals straight from the pouch.
The bad news is that only some of the more than a dozen Readywise Outdoor Adventure Meals are labeled “gluten-free,” and none are certified gluten-free. The GF-labeled options include the following:
- Treeline Teriyaki Chicken & Rice
- Thai Coconut Cashew Curry
- Traditional Pork Chili Verde
- Breakfast Skillet
(6) Northwest Fork
Northwest Fork sells a 30-day Gluten-Free Emergency Food Supply. The supply includes six thickly-lined, resealable bags with 15 servings per bag.
All Northwest Fork meals are free from gluten, soy, and nuts. They’re also vegan, kosher, and non-GMO, and they come in the following varieties:
- Strawberry Banana Oatmeal
- Tropical Trio Oatmeal
- Black Bean Chipotle Stew
- Pinto Bean Stew
- Seasoned Green Pea Soup
- Black Bean Soup
As you can see, several food options in the emergency kit contain oats, so if you have cross-reactivity to oats, you may not like these meal options. The company says it uses locally (Oregon) sourced gluten-free oats, but they are not certified gluten-free by a third party.
Unopened, the company says the meals stay fresh for at least 10 years, making them a great option for long-term storage.
(7) Ready Hour
Ready Hour, sold by My Patriot Supply, is another emergency food preparedness company offering gluten-free emergency food meal kits, individual pouch packs and canisters.
The ReadyHour Gluten-Free Emergency Food Kit contains 120 servings of gluten-free food that last up to 25 years in storage.
But before you get too excited, inspect the included “meals,” many of which aren’t meals or my cup of tea. The kit includes:
- Orange Energy Drink Mixes
- Powdered Whey Milk
- Banana Chips
- Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Chicken-Flavored Rice
- Southwest Savory Rice
- Long Grain White Rice
- Chocolate Pudding
- Cheesy Broccoli Soup
- Black Beans and Rice Soup
Also, I asked My Patriot Supply to share whether the oats in Ready Hour’s Gluten-Free Kit are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease. A company spokesperson told me all of the ingredients that go into its gluten-free kit do not contain wheat (gluten) and assured me they use “pure, uncontaminated oats meeting the FDA label regulations that require that packaged products with oats as an ingredient contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.”
The Numanna No-Gluten Family Pack includes pouches of freeze-dried food made without wheat, gluten, soy, or GMOs. It consists of 116 servings of lunch and dinner and 10 servings of breakfast.
The company says the products included in the “No-Gluten” pack “contain no wheat ingredients” but warns that its products are not manufactured in a “gluten-free” facility, per se.
Inside the No-Gluten Family Pack, you’ll find the following foods:
- Pasta Primavera
- Classic Chili
- Sweet Habanero Chili with Pineapple
- Enchilada, Beans, and Rice
- Italian Pasta w/Marinara Sauce
- Potato Casserole
- Cheddar Broccoli Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Cheesy Potato Soup
- Oatmeal w/ Brown Sugar
I contacted the company to inquire about the oats and whether they’re “gluten-free” or if they are tested to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten per the FDA’s gluten-free labeling guidelines. They replied and said all oats used in the gluten-free packs are certified gluten-free, and they sent me the testing data to prove it.
If you don’t like eating freeze-dried food or don’t have time to prepare food in an emergency, you can take The Survival Tabs, supplement-like pills that provide grab-and-go nutrition during an emergency. The Survival Tabs come in butterscotch, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.
The company says its tabs offer the best possible food in the smallest possible volume, making it easy to store long-term and use in individual emergency kits that can easily fit in a purse, bag, or backpack.
The eight-day supply of sustenance includes 96 tablets (24 per pouch). Each serving requires you to take 12 pills. Each tablet contains 20 calories, so you’ll get a total of 240 calories per day.
The company says each tablet also contains protein and 15 essential vitamins and minerals. They’re also gluten-free, non-GMO, and have a 25-year shelf life.
While the concept is interesting, I think it’s important to note that there are protein bars that contain more than 240 calories per day, take up less room, and can sustain you for days. Of course, protein bars won’t last 25 years in storage, whereas The Survival Tabs will.
Don’t Forget the Water
Don’t forget to include water in your emergency supply kits or when taking these freeze-dried meals along on your remote adventures.
You’ll need about 1½ to two cups of water, preferably hot water, to rehydrate one of the meals. If you’re planning to use these in emergencies only, you’ll need to store gallons of water to reconstitute 100+ of these meals.
You’ll also need a spoon for the pouch meals, so carry one in your backpack or store a few spoons with your emergency stash of survival items and foods.
Gluten-Free Survival Meals
You don’t have to be a survivalist to know it’s wise to plan for natural disasters, pandemics, and other emergencies. And if you’re following a strict gluten-free diet, you know you can never be too prepared for when disaster strikes.
If purchasing gluten-free survival foods is something you’d like to do, I recommend doing your homework and trying before buying, when possible.
You’ll want to compare calories, ingredients, costs, nutrients, serving size, shelf life, flavors, and taste to choose the right emergency food brand for you and your family.
Some brands are better for emergency food when on the go, while others are better for long-term food storage. Remember, the lowest cost option isn’t always the best tasting nor contains the most calories or nutrients.
Whatever you decide to do, know that by investing in these survival food kits, you will be prepared with foods that meet your dietary needs no matter what life throws at you or where the wind blows. A basic 30-day supply can get you and your family through times of hardship without having to scrounge for food.
Most importantly, these gluten-free survival meals are meant to help you stay safe, be prepared, and eat gluten-free at all times. You can never be too prepared in today’s unstable world.