Road to Grapeness

Do slippery roads mean…sour grapes?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

When winter weather causes dangerous driving, salt is often used to melt the ice and make streets less slippery. But is this for the best?

Mehdi Honarvar Nazari from Washington State University doesn’t think so. That’s because road salt can’t naturally break down in the environment. And commercial de-icers have added chemicals that can damage metals, asphalt, and concrete on roads. What’s more? If these chemicals get washed into rivers and lakes, they can harm the critters there.

Nazari and his team may have developed a better, more environmentally friendly de-icer–and it’s right in your produce aisle! What is it? GRAPES!

How did their grape formula hold up? It performed better by melting ice FASTER. And it’s less harmful to the concrete, asphalt, and nearby wildlife.

The researchers didn’t stop there! They developed similar de-icers using dandelion leaves, sugar beet leaves, and apple waste. All locally available and sustainable ingredients!

Now that’s what I call farm-to-fork ROADS!