Social media can be harsh, especially for home cooks who make dishes or use preparations that others don't. Actress Reese Witherspoon was on the receiving end of some of those critiques recently when she turned some freshly fallen snow into a dessert-style concoction that raised eyebrows across the internet.
After snow blanketed many parts of the country in mid-January, Witherspoon posted a TikTok of her scooping cupfuls of the white stuff directly off the side of her grill, doctoring it up with some chocolate and salted caramel syrups and topping it off with a splash of cold brew before digging in with her spoon.
She dubbed it the "snow salt chococinno," calling it "so good." While many commenters seemed to agree, others responded with varying levels of ick and concern for Witherspoon's health. Some even brought up childhood teachers who'd melt snow to show them just how dirty it can be. Witherspoon clapped back with a series of TikTok responses, arguing, "You only live once," and that she grew up drinking unfiltered tap water, even straight out of the hose, anyway.
Eating Snow: Safe, Gross, Or Both?
In any case, it was too late. Witherspoon's 46-second video had already drawn thousands of comments and launched dozens of internet hot takes, both pro- and anti-eating snow.
Supporters and critics have some valid points. Per NPR, some scientists point to research on harmful airborne substances, like carbon soot, sulfates, mercury, and other carcinogens from gasoline exhaust, that can collect in snow as it falls. Still, others note the levels are well below what would be considered harmful, especially for those consuming just an occasional handful of otherwise clean snow. As detailed by Accuweather, more concerning is the potential presence of bacteria in the snow picked up from the ground or air, which can have detrimental effects of varying intensity depending on many factors, including immune health.
Nevertheless, treats made from fresh snow are nothing new. Many in Witherspoon's comments talked about their families making snow ice cream, a unique treat that creates a delicious dessert far faster than traditional ice cream. This also isn't Witherspoon's first social media semi-controversy. TikTok users even found time to debate her breakfast for her dogs. Like it or not, it comes with the territory when you're famous — especially when you share your food takes online.
Read the original article on Mashed.