As many Americans continue to dig themselves out of back-to-back snowstorms, actress Reese Witherspoon is sparking a heated online debate about eating snow.
In her latest TikTok video, Witherspoon caused quite an uproar by trying to craft the delicious winter beverage with fresh snow. “Snow days were made for Chococinnos,” she wrote in the caption.
Snow days were made for Chococinnos ❄️☕️♬ Let's go – Official Sound Studio
Almost immediately, the comments came. “No, no, no…” one TikTok user stated on Reese Witherspoon’s post. “Snow is not made to eat.. you can get seriously sick.”
“Isn’t snow dirty?” another TikTok user pointed out.
However, some TikTik users were quick to shrug off the uproar. “Fallen snow can be very dirty from the air and wind,” a TikTok user wrote. “But who cares? You only live once. I remember eating snow as a kid.”
“I had no idea snow could be eaten,” a fellow TikTok user admitted. “It makes sense that it can be if it’s clean but living on the Aus coast I’ve never seen snow let alone eaten it.”
Reese Witherspoon Asks Whether it is Safe to Eat Snow or Not
After the back-and-fourth comments continued, Reese Witherspoon began questioning whether snow is safe to eat or not.
“We went and took snow from the backyard and we microwaved it,” she explained. “And it’s clear. Is that bad?”
She then asked, “Am I not supposed to eat snow?”
In an interview with Prevention, Mary Scarzello Fairbanks, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated that snow comes from evaporated water that rises from the surface.
“In snow, you can find traces of water from rivers, lakes, or oceans around the world,” she explained. However, she says other things besides water make up snow. “Snow contains droplets that will hold onto pieces of dust, tiny bacteria, or other things floating in the air.”
Although there isn’t a snow-eating safety guide, the CDC advises that it’s not a good idea to eat snow if you get stranded. But thankfully, there aren’t any “snow-eating related illnesses” yet.
“It is safe in small quantities,” Diana Calello, M.D., the medical and executive director of New Jersey Poison Information and Education System and associate professor of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School explained. “A small amount is non-toxic. It’s not great to make a meal out of it.”
Calello said that eating too much snow could cause an upset stomach as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and even an infection. However, in Reece Witherspoon’s case, that would take a lot of snow.