Most cities around the United States throw salt on the roads when it snows. But some experts are turning to something a little less conventional to get the job done: beet juice, molasses, cheese waste, and beer, as they think that all the sodium being added to the water via runoff from the roads is making lakes and rivers closer to salt water, a move that will threaten the life of things like fish and frogs that need to live in a fresh water environment.
Agencies in New Jersey and North Dakota have started to use a mixture containing beet juice to keep their roads clear. New Hampshire and Maine are using a molasses mixture, and in Wisconsin, cheese brine is even making an appearance on some roads. In other places around the country, you’ll also see beer and pickle brine making a roadway appearance.
Despite its environmental impact, salt is still the cheapest and most effective roadway treatment. Not that beer and cheese doesn’t sound like a delicious alternative, but we’re not likely to see salt replaced entirely anytime soon.