Out of the Blue

Canadian Town Tackles Snow with Beets

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Canadian Town Tackles Snow with Beets
Photo Benjamin Chun/Flickr

A town in British Columbia has found a rather unique use for beet juice: it utilizes the ruby liquid to de-ice roads.

Williams Lake, a town about 340 miles (550 km) from Vancouver, gets an estimated 6 feet (192 cm) of snow fall each year. When salt and sand (which have to be scraped off the roads every winter) started taking their toll on local roads, town officials turned to a more eco-friendly option called Beet 55,  a saline mixture made with beet juice.

Reportedly, the beet juice doesn't stain and works like a charm when spread on dry roads before the snow hits. An added bonus? The stuff actually smells like candy, according to Kevin Goldfuss, director of municipal services for the city.“It does have a smell to it. It’s kind of like caramel. It smells like a Tootsie Roll,” told The Globe and Mail.

Goldfuss explained how to beet juice works: “When it snows and the traffic gets on the roads it packs and packs and packs [until] you are on ice,” he said. “With this treatment, it doesn’t let that bond form. When we come in and plow the snow away, we’re basically down to a bare road surface again.”

Of course, beets are also great in the kitchen where they can be turned into delicacies like seared brook trout with beets and peas and pigeon with cauliflower and cream of beetroot.

Via Grist & The Globe and Mail

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