The proponents of drinking peanut milk, a small buy loyal bunch, credit it with everything from improving general health to curing baldness. Jack Chang, 58, came up with the drink as a way to enjoy his favorite food - peanuts - after his gum disease progressed to the point he was no longer able to chew solid foods at all. There is no proof that his peanut milk, which is non-dairy and made of made from peanuts, grains, herbs and spices, does any of the things he claims, though his customers swear by it. One, Donna Cooke, insists that it keeps her eyes "clear of infection." Others report "it strengthens patients with AIDS and cancer, reverses baldness, heals wounds faster, prevents colds, reduces symptoms of menopause and soothes psoriasis. It's also said to be a hangover cure. Some drink it at bedtime to help them sleep, others as an alternative to caffeine."
The drink now sells 240,000 bottles each year and will soon be on the shelves in Whole Foods markets. Health and nutrition experts are skeptical and believe that the "miracle" product, as it is termed by Chang, does nothing more than take advantage of a rising health anxiety of consumers, a modern snake oil.