In news that makes me really hungry, the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is testing the use of mozzarella and provolone cheese brine to make winter roads less slippery.
According to the New York Times, Milwaukee spent $6.5 million on 44,000 tons of salt last year, used to de-ice roads during a winter with a 28-inch snowfall. Now they are experimenting with a pilot program in which workers mix cheese brine with rock salt in order to reduce costs and pollution. Since 30% of dry salt is lost to bounce and traffic, officials hope that brine from mozzarella and provolone, which are ideal for this job due to their natural salt content, will make the rock salt stick better.
In addition, this year's pilot will costs $6500 to test, and makes good use of all that excess cheese-salting solution that would otherwise be shipped to waste treatment plants. Still, the city is anticipating potential problems that could kill this experiment:
But in this dense urban setting, Milwaukee officials are reviewing a list of potential problems that come with cheese-coated streets: Would a faint odor of cheese bother residents? Would it attract rodents? Would the benefits of cheese brine, said to freeze at a lower temperature than regular salt brine, be enough to justify the additional hauling and storing requirements?
Allow me to add my own query: how much Wisconsin cheese will I feel compelled to buy after I finish this post?
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