Growing up in the South, I have always dreamt of walking through a winter wonderland (since snow is nonexistent in Georgia). Whenever snow would finally arrive in my hometown, my siblings and I couldn’t resist the urge to make snow angels and see what the snow would taste like. My parents would go back and forth on how eating snow was unhealthy and not safe. To me, I didn’t see any problem. The snow looked so fluffy and delicious. And, I know some people will agree with me, too.

Can you eat snow?

If you are a certified TikTok guru, then you would know about the hype surrounding the Chococinno. The Chococinno is a drink by actress Reese Witherspoon, which includes a dose of cold brew coffee, caramel and chocolate syrups, and giant scoops of snow. Yes, actual snow.

Despite the hype that Witherspoon received, she has also received comments about how consuming snow is dangerous to one’s health. Although Witherspoon is not the first person to consume snow (and not feel no shame about it), it leaves many people wondering. Is it really safe to consume snow? 

Is it safe to eat snow?

Eating snow can come with some risks. When snow falls from the sky and lands on the ground, it is met immediately with components that can be hazardous to your health. From dirt to pollutants, consuming this with no knowledge can put you at risk of experiencing a serious health issue.

It’s important to note many aspects when it comes to consuming snow. Don’t consume any snow that has fallen or been plowed off the road or the sidewalk. There may be visible animal tracks or rock salt that you may not be aware of. Also, avoid eating snow that appears to be brown or yellow in color, as the discoloration generally means that the snow is contaminated. Don’t eat snow from the first snowfall, as that could contain the most pollutants from the atmosphere. Even if you're someone who sees no harm in eating snow, it’s best to consume it in moderation. Because of the risk of pesticides, you don’t want to put yourself in a medical emergency nor do you want to consume too much, because it can lower your body temperature, according to the CDC.

So, can you eat snow? Yes, at your own risk. There are a few benefits of eating fresh snow. Since snow is crystallized water, it can help increase your water intake and can help with digestion and dehydration. Just always look for the brightest lily-white snow to eat.

Now, if you want to enter into your Chococinno era, make sure you know the many standards and exceptions of consuming it. And, if you are making one of these, be sure to make me one, too!