Can you eat snow?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat snow?.” We will also discuss the questions of what snow is, the forms of snow, the ingredients of snow, the safety of eating snow, the best time to pick snow for eating, how to eat snow, and how to make snow ice cream. 

Can you eat snow?

Yes, you can eat snow. Snow is edible as it is composed of frozen water or ice, although there can be more to it than just water. 

What is snow?

Snow is a type of precipitation that consists of ice particles. Anytime the temperature drops below the freezing temperature, which is zero degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water vapour existing in the atmosphere condenses into the ice while bypassing the liquid or water stage. 

Once the ice is formed, the ice crystals absorb and freeze additional water vapour in the surrounding environment, producing a snow crystal or pellet that falls to the ground. 

What are the forms in which snow falls?

Snow falls in different forms based on its size and shape. The different forms include

  • Snowflakes are ice crystal clusters falling from the clouds.
  • Snow pellets: They are also known as graupel, with a soft and crumbly texture. These are opaque ice particles that are formed in the atmosphere. They occur when ice crystals fall through a supercooled droplet that is still liquid despite being below freezing. The cloud droplet sticks to the crystals and forms a lumpy mass. 
  • Sheet: This is a wintery mix of snow and rain that consists of drops of rain or drizzle that freeze into ice as they fall. Sheets are also sometimes referred to as ice pellets in official weather reports. 

What are the ingredients of snow?

Although snow is mainly composed of frozen water, it can have more ingredients in it than just ice depending on where it falls or its location. 

The moisture that would have fallen as rain freezes into beautiful crystals that fall from the sky once they get cold. Snow can have varying content based on the following:

Snow from sidewalk or street

Snow removed from sidewalks or streets contains rock salt, which contains compounds that aid in the melting of ice and the prevention of slipping when walking. 

Snow from animal feeders or trails

Snow may have a brown or yellow appearance as it serves as a road for squirrels, birds, dogs, and other critters, which may introduce certain contaminants and several different materials through their urine and more. 

Snow from algae habitat

Several forms of algae can be snow-loving, and when they are around, they contribute to a lovely pink appearance of the snow, popularly known as watermelon snow. Not all of these algae are edible, and they introduce several different compounds to the snow. 

Snow falling through the skies

Snow can also pick up some contaminants while travelling through the sky. In this sense, snow may also contain pesticides and other chemicals like mercury and formaldehyde when it travels through the skies.  

Is it safe to eat snow?

Generally, it is safe to eat snow, as it is more like pure frozen water, although other impurities may be present. 

These intruding compounds are commonly found at lower levels and are unlikely to cause harm unless you are probably eating them in large quantities. 

When is the best time to pick snow and eat it?

When the snow starts to fall, it is more likely to pick up pollutants from the skies as they travel, although these pollutants may not be too large an amount to take in. 

However, if you could wait for a few hours when the snow is midway through the storm, you could find the purest frozen sky water to enjoy. 

How to eat snow?

Snow in its purest form can be one you would want to enjoy in a lifetime. You can eat snow as it is practically water in its frozen form. You can eat snow in several ways, such as

  • Eat snow by catching a crunch in its purest form and placing it on your tongue.
  • You can also eat snow by melting it into a liquid to quench your thirst.
  • Likewise, you can use snow to prepare ice cream.

How to make snow ice cream?

You can prepare snow ice cream with just a handful of ingredients such as milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and the important ingredient of best quality snow.

Make the recipe by combining your ingredients of milk, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and gradually adding the snow until a thick, creamy texture is produced and can be enjoyed in all its deliciousness. 


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Can you eat snow?.” We have also discussed the questions of what snow is, the forms of snow, the ingredients of snow, the safety of eating snow, the best time to pick snow for eating, how to eat snow, and how to make snow ice cream.