Q: Is it safe to eat snow?
Oz Says: Stick out your tongue and say aah. It's fine (and fun) to catch those flakes as long as you follow a few guidelines:
Gather it later in the storm.
Snow grabs molecules of dust, soot, and bacteria from the air as it falls, so the flakes that fell most recently tend to be cleaner. While pollutants are low (less than what's in water), it's still smart to wait, says Staci Simonich, PhD, an environmental scientist at Oregon State University.
Find a fresh drift.
Even if that snowfall still looks nice and pristine, the longer it lies around, the more stuff will collect on top of it, including car exhaust, grit from your neighbor's fireplace chimney, and other particles you don't want to be eating. So grab and enjoy while the snow is fluffy fresh.
Fun Fact: The Romans mixed honey or fruit juice into their snow, and in the U.S. "maple belt," people drizzle on maple syrup and call it leather britches.
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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