The rapid expansion of sugar in becoming a staple foodstuff in England begs the question: did the citizens of the British Isles consume sugar in increasing amounts because they craved its sweetness, or is sugarĂs increasing role in the British diet due to some other factor? Mintz, as we will see, strongly believes that sugarĂs increasing role in the British diet was due to a slew of factors that rose to prominence during this period.
Mintz is concerned by the relationship between sugarĂs expansion as a staple of the British diet and the concomitant expansion of the British Empire. According to Mintz, sugarĂs sweetness, and manĂs proverbial ˘sweet tooth,÷ cannot be the only explanation for sugarĂs dominant role in the British diet of the time. In reviewing the history of sugarĂs expansion in the British diet, Mintz points to the fact it occurred hand in hand with British EmpireĂs expansion as it acquired increasing numbers of colonies in the Sugar producing parts of the world. The colonies allowed the British to produce increasing amounts of sugar cheaply¨especially due to the fact that slave labor accounted for the majority of the production potential (Mintz, 19-30).
The increasing production and lowering prices of sugar occurred at a time when the industrial revolution was ramping up in the British Isles. The industrial revolution at hom