Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Professor Dorothy Kidd


In the past decade, food waste has emerged as one of the most important food sustainability issues in developed societies and has received increased attention from academic scholars, policymakers, environmental and other civil society organizations. There have also been a growing number of efforts to mitigate this problem, an important component of which has been education to provide consumers with a clearer understanding of the food waste problem and the methods that they can take to change their food waste behaviors. One of the educational approaches has involved social marketing. Social marketers have recently turned to YouTube and other video based social media to promote consumer education. This thesis examines eleven food waste videos that have been circulated on YouTube to observe how they have incorporated social marketing approaches. In addition, the thesis employs rhetorical analysis methods to observe the potential influence of these videos on consumers’ food waste behavior. The primary finding is that food waste videos can be used as a social marketing tool for educating consumers about the food waste crisis. However, further in depth research is needed to explore the best forms of social marketing to address this problem.