Frank Zappa (right) would be proud.
And parents who warn their kids not to eat dirty snow (especially the yellow variety) are left wondering whether to stop them from tasting the new-fallen stuff, too, because of Pseudomonas syringae, bacteria that can cause diseases in bean and tomato plants.
A paper published last week in the journal, Science, found that snow — even in relatively pristine spots like Montana and the Yukon — contains large amounts of bacteria.
Dr. Penelope Dennehy, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases, said,
"It’s a very ubiquitous bacteria that’s everywhere. Basically, none of the food we eat is sterile. We eat bacteria all the time.”
Dr. Joel Forman, a member of the pediatric academy’s committee on environmental health, said,
"We eat stuff that’s covered with bacteria all the time, and for the most part it’s killed in the stomach. Your stomach is a fantastic barrier against invasive bacteria because it’s a very acidic environment. … I can say that I’m not aware of any clinical reports of children becoming ill from eating snow. And I looked,” Forman says.