The imperial conquest and reordering of the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food: a theoretical contribution - Empire is a new mode of ordering and governance. Food empires are monopolistic networks that control large, and expanding, parts of the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food. But food empires are not necessarily involved in the physical realities associated with these processes. Food empires control the routing and the associated transformation of agricultural and food products. In this respect food empires clearly represent an "invisible hand", a series of combined and repeated interventions into the markets that together represent "extra- economic power". Empires (and food empires particularly) do not only center on control, they simultaneously represent the appropriation and centralization of value. Due to Empire, value has, as it were, become footloose; it is increasingly becoming "a ghost".
Key words: empire; imperial networks; food production; world market; global exclusion; theory of value.