Can you eat snow (like Reese Witherspoon does)?

Can you eat snow (like Reese Witherspoon does)?

American actress Reese Whiterspoon sparked an avalanche of questions on TikTok with her recipe for ice cream made from snow. The Hollywood star even sparked a debate around the hygienic aspect of her dessert. Can you really eat snow? On TikTok, it seems so given the number of recipes posted.

Salted caramel, chocolate syrup, cold brew (cold brewed coffee) and… snow. Here is the chococinno recipe prepared by Reese Witherspoon. The American actress, known for her roles in “Blonde Girl”, “Wild” and “The Morning Show”, unwittingly sparked a buzz on TikTok with this dessert. In her video, we see her using two large mugs to collect snow from her garden which she sprinkles with different toppings.


Snow days were made for Chococinnos ❄️☕️

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In just a few days, the video attracted more than 5 million views, sparking criticism and raising questions, particularly about the potential risks of eating snow. “No no no… snow is not made to be eaten, you can get seriously ill, writes an Internet user. In response to the controversy, the actress defended herself in another video from eating it only once a year. She also adds that she sees little difference between drinking unfiltered tap water and snow.

Reese Witherspoon is far from being the only fan of ice cream and snow. As evidenced by the hashtag “snow cream” on TikTok, which has more than 50 million views. In these videos, we see thousands of social users preparing their own recipes. But if for some these preparations make their mouth water, health experts take a dim view of this dietary trend. And for good reason: the snow that Internet users collect can be a source of microbes that are harmful to our body.

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Be careful in the snow

Jennifer Johnson, a family medicine physician with Mayo Clinic Health System, told AccuWeather that even though snow is essentially water, people should be careful consuming it because it could be contaminated. “Any snow may contain pollution, dirt and germs. Snow that has been on the ground for a few days may contain chemicals from snow removal, dirt, microbes from dirt, and animal debris“.

Also according to the AccuWeather article, most people have strong immune systems, which means they generally don’t experience any ill effects when eating snow in small amounts. However, it is important to note that some individuals might experience digestive issues such as stomach upset or diarrhea if they consume a large amount of snow, particularly if it is contaminated.

So if you want to try this practice, some precautions should be taken. Dr. Rubin, followed by more than a million subscribers on TikTok, advises snow ice fans not to catch the first snowfall in a video: “When it reaches the ground, it could be contaminated with various chemicals or pesticides”, he explains, saying it is best to wait for a second or third snowfall. “If it’s a long blizzard, wait until it’s completely over so you have untouched snow”.