Did Jessica Seinfeld Commit Plagiarism?
Jessica Seinfeld is best known as Jerry Seinfeld's wife. Before marrying Jerry Seinfeld on December 25, 1999, Jessica Sklar was an executive working for the Tommy Hilfiger company.
Jessica Seinfeld started a different career recently with the publication of a new cookbook called "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food". "Deceptively Delicious" shows techniques featuring ways to add fruits and vegetables to children's diets with the least amount of grief. "Deceptively Delicious" has already had more than one million copies printed.
Jessica's appearance on the October 8th Oprah Winfrey show appeared to make Seinfeld's cookbook an instant success. Oprah oohed and aahed over Jessica Seinfeld's recipes during her October 8 show. Jessica discussed the difficulty of persuading kids to make wise eating choices.
Jessica Seinfeld said the inspiration for her kid friendly recipes was her own battles at the dinner table with her kids. Jessica started developing ways to get kids to eat their vegetables.
Jessica started adding pureed vegetables similar in color to the main food. Some popular recipes are brownies with added spinach, cookies with hidden added chickpeas, and avocado added to chocolate pudding. Jessica swears that her kids can't even taste the added healthy ingredients.
Soon after Jessica's appearance on "Oprah", the plagiarism accusations started on the internet. Message boards and forums were comparing Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook to a very similar cookbook published earlier called "The Sneaky Chef" by Missy Chase Levine. Compared to the more than a million copies of the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook, "The Sneaky Chef" has 150,000 printed copies, according to USA Today.
Like "Deceptively Delicious", Levine's cookbook also explains ways to add more fruits and vegetables into children's diets. The cookbook by Levine was published before the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook. "The Sneaky Chef" uses many of the same techniques to sneak nutrition into children's diets. Many of the recipes in Seinfeld's cookbook are almost identical to recipes in Levine's cookbook.
An interesting twist is that Lapine submitted her cookbook to the HarperCollins publishing company in 2006. She was turned down twice. HarperCollins then decided to publish "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld about a month after turning down Lapine's cookbook proposal.
USA Today reported that Lapine also attempted to secure a guest appearance on the "Oprah" show on five different occasions. She was denied every time. Later when Jessica Seinfeld appeared on her show, Oprah touted Jessica's cookbook as being completely original and innovative. Oprah had no comment when asked about the Jessica Seinfeld plagiarism accusations.
Only Jessica Seinfeld truly knows if she committed plagiarism. She certainly isn't the first person to think up ways to sneak vegetables into her kids' diets. It would be a shame, though, if she got such fantastic free publicity simply because she was riding on her husband's coattails.