Turns out, annoying children isn't all beets are good for. In 2005, a beet farmer in Illinois figured out that beet juice has a very low freezing point, even under 0 degrees Fahrenheit. He began experimenting with using the juice as an alternative ice melt. Dave Schiavoni of Water Mill is the exclusive retailer of beet juice ice melt in the Northeast. His main business in Riverhead is concrete, but creating ice melt helps diversify his business.
Beet juice is a "green" product (actual color: brown), less corrosive to the environment than traditional chloride compounds. This is of particular interest to the Hamptons, as we need to protect our aquifer.
"Because we're in a salt source aquifer we have to be conscious of the material we put down," said Shelter Island Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. "The beet juice seems to counteract the salt."
· Local beet juice ice melt a green alternative [Shelter Island Reporter]