Educate a California boy: Why NOT eat snow?

  1. Sitting at gate 3 of Will Rogers World Airport, waiting for my flight to board in one hour. A young lady, apparently on my flight, is talking on her cell. She’s from California, as am I, and she just told her loved one a story about eating a handful of snow. According to her, the locals she told about this were as grossed out by this as if she had boasted about taking a refreshing drink from a puddle of rainwater.

IS it just AS unsanitary? I guess, as long as you don’t scoop it from deep enough to touch the ground, it shouldn’t be TOO hard to avoid the bird poop (look for non-snowy-looking solids) and bunny rabbit pee (confine yourself to WHITE snow).

Just what did this girl risk putting into her mouth?

the government’s chemtrails are polluting rainwater

If you assume rainwater is nasty, why would you assume that drinking frozen rainwater is any different?

Eww. From the ground?

Eating freshly fallen snow in a rural area with little air pollution is quite safe for someone old enough to be able to judge the chances of it being polluted by pets, wildlife or industrial emissions.

But the ones most likely to eat snow are kids, and rather than educating them about when it’s safe to eat snow, parents will give them a blanket “don’t eat snow!” warning, either because it’s easier than trying to teach a three year old what snow is safe to eat, or because they don’t know any better because all they know is their parents told them not to eat snow.

And since eating snow isn’t all that interesting no one sees fit to reeducate those kids once they’re grown.

Drinking rainwater from a puddle is different from eating snow off the top of a drift.

More Snow Cream for us, then!

There’s nothing wrong with eating clean, fresh snow as long as you have a warm place to do it in. If you’re out in the woods, it’s better to warm it up as best you can before consuming it. Eating too much snow when you’ve no way to keep warm could lower your body temperature to hypothermic levels. Survivalists will sometimes place bags of snow close to their body to warm them to liquid before drinking - this allows them better control of their heat loss. If they are getting too cold, they can drop the snow. Can’t drop it if it’s already inside you.

Don’t eat the yellow snow…

I’m provisionally operating on an assumption similar to what naita said. Frozen rainwater iswater that fell to earth in liquid form, then froze. I don’t expect the nasties in a several-inch deep pile of snow to mix quite so thoroughly as in a one-inch deep pool of water.

No reason not to, as long as you avoid the yellow snow.

And keep in mind that a random peace of chocolate you happen to find in the snow should be cause for alarm:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH-zY18RPQs

I don’t have a PhD in entropy but how is it different using body heat to melt snow outside your body versus inside your body?

WAG, perhaps the idea is once the heat leaves your body, you might as well use it for something else, that is melting snow. Inside your body you have to expend extra energy trying to heat the snow up. At least that’s my guess.

I don’t know that it is. But again: if it’s outside you, you can drop it if you get too cold. If you’ve swallowed it, you can’t.

As the late, great Frank Zappa sang:

Watch out where the huskies go
and don’t you eat that yellow snow.

I won’t eat it because when it falls, it passes through the atmosphere and picks up all manner of pollution and harmful chemicals.

It may contain that stuff or it may not. But I feel that it’s taking a big chance when eating snow because it may or may not contains that crap and be very bad for your health.

Maybe if you live in some hyper polluted dystopia where you can’t see for the smog. Lets be realistic here. Most drinking water came from the sky, like snow, fell on the ground (which scientists confirm has more dirt than air), then collected in a reservoir. You honestly believe a snow flake falling through a few thousand feet of clear air is going to be bad for humans? Really?

Yes I know that millions of precious fops now believe North American tap water is unclean and water must be consumed from a pure plastic disposable bottle, but other than an unpleasant chlorine taste (which will disappear if the water sits in the fridge for a couple hours) most North American tap water is perfectly safe. There is no way fresh fallen snow is somehow dirtier than water from a stream.

Prairie boy born and raised. I know me some snow.

As a kid (I’m 40 now), I can honestly say I was never told not to eat snow - nor were any of my friends AFAIK. We were only told not to eat snow coloured anything but white (to avoid urine, dirt, car dross etc.)

The only reason I can think of why someone would issue a blanket moratorium on snow eating would be that they are overly cautious bubble people.

This last does not apply to the area around Fukishima and analogous areas.

So long as the air is clean enough to be non-hazardous then the snow should be non-hazardous as well.

If your air pollution is so bad that eating snow would be dangerous, then breathing that same air would be a lot more dangerous. Your digestive system is a lot better at dealing with bad gunk than your respiratory system is.

As a kid I ate snow, nobody told me not to (unless it was yellow).
We used to break off icicles and suck on them too. Kind of gross when you think about it, being that they were hanging from the gutters and had whenever ran off the roof in them.

My question would be why eat snow?
It’s cold and tasteless so there’s not much point in eating it.