Is Snow Safe to Eat?
When I was a kid I ate a LOT of fresh snow. It's just frozen water right? Well, no, not really. When snow is falling through the sky it's picking up pollutants along the way, such as soot and dirt. Also found in snow, depending on where it comes from: mercury, formaldehyde, nitrates, pesticides and sulfates.
The good news is that all of these will be well below toxic levels. You should never eat snow that has been plowed however. Scientists also don't recommend eating snow in urban areas because it can soak up gasoline from car exhausts, there's some nasty stuff in there! The longer it snows, the cleaner the snow. But what if you have nothing to eat but snow? Not a great option because it can dehydrate you, frostbite your lips and lower your body temperature. If you have no water scientists say you should try to melt the snow before drinking it, and ideally boil it then cool it first.