Just Beet It!

December 17, 2009

If you hail from a part of the country that gets their share of snow every year, then you are used to your city salting the roads. While rock salt de-ices the roads so that we can drive, it also destroys concrete, asphalt and even the paint on your car. There's also the environmental effect when it washes into our waterways, driving up the salinity levels that can hurt fish and other marine habitats.The Columbus Dispatch reports that with rock salt prices, researchers have been looking at alternatives to de-icing our roads. One of them is liquid from sugar beets.

Regular rock salt only works at about 15 degrees, while sugar beet juice can work at 25 below zero! It works more as a Teflon coating on the roads preventing ice from sticking. It doesn't stain the pavement and easily washes off of cars. And while beet juice is relatively harmless to the environment, we can only wonder of our fish populations will become diabetic in the winter months! In Ankeny, Iowa a local spice producer donated 9 tons of expired garlic salt to be used by the city to deice their roads. While it did the job, people complained that their garages smelled like "spaghetti sauce cooking". Hey Leno, how did you miss this one?!

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