Nibbling snow in the winter is nothing new and lately, the craze over it seems to have gone high with mouthwatering pictures of snow cream and slushy drinks on social media. But, is it safe for all?
A Romanian university conducted a study to find out the truth. The result of the 2017 experiment showed that it's safe to eat snow only if that was half-day old, and it's safer to eat it in the colder months.
Istvan Mathe, a professor at the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, however, revealed that it's not safe to eat two days old snow.
In the month of January and February, scientists collected snow from a park and from a roundabout in Miercurea Ciuc, central Romania and placed it in hermetically-sealed sterile containers. Researchers then tried to grow bacteria and mold in them.
The temperatures at which the study took place ranged minus 1.1 degrees Celsius to minus 17.4 C (30 degrees to 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in the city, one of the coldest in Romania, AP reported.
The researchers found that after one day, there were five bacteria per millimeter in January. In February, the number quadrupled.
"Very fresh snow has very little bacteria," Mathe said. "After two days, however, there are dozens of bacteria." He further explained saying that the microorganisms increase because of impurities in the air. The idea of doing the study struck Mathe when he saw children eating snow.
In another study led by a McGill University chemistry professor, Parisa Ariya, it was found that snow absorbs toxic compounds that are emitted from car exhaust, which means that the snow you're eating might be laced with pollutants.
Mathe says: "I am not recommending anyone eats snow. Just saying you won't get ill if you eat a bit."