Some religious people believe one Jesus miraculously made bread, fish, and wine plentiful for the hungry and thirsty, but long after biblical times, these staples are multiplying in size (and price) — sans Christ. The latest news on the tasty triumverate:

>> Fish. Supermarkets can’t miraculous make fish fillets multiply — but they can apply a weighty coat of ice glaze to seafood — and make you pay for the frozen water. Intended to keep the seafood fresh, this ice glaze can at times make up 40% of the product’s weight! Turning water into faux fish is, as you may have suspected, illegal — which is why more than 21,000 packages of seafood were removed from sale during a four-week, 17-state investigation, according to the L.A. Times.

>> Bread. We’ve got no photograph of the New Testament’s Last Supper, but we’ve got a lot of creative artists’ renderings of the meal. Two scholars studied 52 of them drawn over the last millenium to come to this conclusion: “Consistent with expectations, the size of food depicted in these paintings increased with time.”

In fact, “the ratio of the size of bread has increased by 23.1%.” Those numbers were carefully crunched by a pair of siblings — one an economist, the other a religion scholar — and were published in the last issue of the International Journal of Obesity. (via LA Times) It's unclear, however, whether the Jesuses in these renderings also saw corresponding weight gains.

>> Wine. The Last Supper study doesn’t cover wine because the spirit’s missing in many of the paintings — an oddity, since the artists felt free to add in anything from eel to pork as the main dish while the Bible mentions only bread and wine. But if a new initiative to increase the alcohol tax makes it on the California ballot this November, the tax on wine will multiply — more than a hundredfold in some cases. Zach Behrens at LAist crunches the numbers:

Tax on a six-pack of beer would increase from 6-cents to $6.08. And say goodbye to two-buck chuck–a tax on a 750 ml bottle of wine would go from 4-cents to $5.11. And the tax on a 750 ml bottle of distilled spirits would increase from from 65-cents to $17.57.
While the initiative’s estimated to bring in an extra $7 to $9 billion in much needed state revenues, I’m not sure such a severe hike will be met kindly with California voters. According to a Gallup poll, the recession didn’t convince drinkers to drink less — though some drinkers may be opting for cheaper drinks -- perhaps like wines carrying the organic label, which apparently don't command the price premium enjoyed by the organic label-less wine bottles.

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