New Yorkers are used to having beets in their salads, pastas and fresh juices, but we could soon have them on our roads as well. The idea is part of New York State’s pilot program to test out more environmentally-friendly ways to prevent icy roads, and will entail dumping a mix of 50,000 gallons of beet juice and brine on highways to keep cars from dangerously slipping and sliding during the winter months.
It turns out that beet juice doesn’t just do a body good – it can help with automobile safety too. The purply-brown substance is chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also has the incredible property of helping to delay icing. Adding beet juice to salt amps up its ability to prevent ice from forming.
The beet brine can be prepared in advance and spread on roads before it snows or temperatures drop, making it a preventative action rather than a re-active solution for after roads become icy. This not only saves money and manpower in potentially dangerous driving situations, but it’s also less corrosive for roads, which could reduce after-winter repairs. Since beets are all natural, the lack of chemicals is better for animals, and the solution also won’t leak toxins into our water table.