Why Some States Are Using Beet Juice and Beer to ‘Salt’ Icy Roads

Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers
Justin Sullivan -- Getty Images

When it snows, most cities around the United States throw salt on the roads. According to News Herald, experts who think that road salt is starting to contaminate our waterways are turning to something a little less conventional to get the job done: beet juice, molasses, cheese waste, and beer.

Those experts 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 fish water environment.

Concerned about the impact, 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.

While mixtures are popping up, we’re not likely to see salt replaced entirely anytime soon. Despite its environmental impact, salt is still the cheapest and most effective roadway treatment, a concern for cost-conscious municipalities. Not that beer and cheese doesn’t sound like a delicious alternative.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.