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Is it safe to eat snow? How to make snow cream the safe way

The general idea is to combine freshly fallen snow with milk (often condensed milk), sugar and vanilla - creating an ice cream-esque treat.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many Kentuckians are celebrating the first major snowfall of 2022. While some are content playing in the wintry weather by sledding and making a snowman, others are looking to enjoy the snow in another way: by eating it.

Searches for "snow cream" surged during the first snow of 2022, on January 6, as several inches of snow fell across the state. During the afternoon hours, the term had more interest than "road conditions" and "school closings" in Kentucky, according to Google Trends.

What is snow cream? There's no one way to make it, but the general idea is to combine freshly fallen snow with milk (often condensed milk), sugar and vanilla - creating an ice cream-esque treat. Sprinkles are optional but encouraged.

Is it safe to eat snow? Dr. Jason Smith, the chief medical officer at UofL Health, said yes - but in moderation. He compared eating snow to drinking rainwater - it won't hurt you, but you shouldn't consume it in large amounts.

"If you eat a handful of snow, you're not going to die," Dr. Smith said.

See Dr. Smith's full response below:

Dr. Smith warned against eating snow found near plowed and treated roads, since it may have been exposed to chemicals.

So, if you're looking to try this delicacy, make sure that you are using fresh snow that hasn't been touched or walked on. And, if it's any color other than white, steer clear!

New to snow cream? Here are some recipes to get you started:

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