The Cookbook Caper: So, Did Jessica Seinfeld (ahem) “Borrow” Some Ideas from Missy Chase Lapine?

I’ve been watching this cookbook catfight develop over the past week, and I must say that I am heartily confused by it all.

Cookbook catfight? What cookbook catfight, you may wonder, especially if you don’t read the New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, or watch Fox News. (Don’t worry–I don’t watch Fox News, either. I just happened to find this story on Google.)

For those who don’t want to wade through the links, I will explain here–or rather, as there is no time, I will sum up.

Former Eating Well Magazine publisher and culinary arts instructor, Missy Chase Lapine began pitching a proposal for The Sneaky Chef in February, 2006 on the topic of sneaking pureed vegetables into child-favored dishes so that parents could get picky kids to eat something healthy even if they were not aware of it. At that time, she sent her 139 page proposal, (with 42 recipes included) to Harper Collins, without the benefit of having the services of a literary agent.

Harper Collins rejected her twice; (the reason being that they already had a title which they believed was “too similar” in their catalog, chef and food activist Ann Cooper’s Lunch Lessons, which, as near as I can tell from looking at it, is really nothing like Lapine’s book at all) the second time just two weeks before giving a contract to Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry Seinfeld, for a book on the exact same subject. The reasons given for signing Seinfeld, a neophyte writer with no publication experience or professional culinary experience, over Lapin, whose resume cites experience in both fields is because of “(Seinfeld’s) name and because she was represented by one of the highest-powered literary agents: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh of William Morris Agency.” (Interestingly, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh also represented plagiarist Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan, author of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life.)

While Seinfeld worked on her book with a chef and nutritionist, Lapine found a publisher for hers, and it came out this April.

Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious, came out this month, and sales have soared, especially after Oprah had the author on her show where she touted the cookbook as “genius.”

Now, both books are on the New York Times bestseller list, and both titles are sold out at various bookstores across the country, including Amazon.com. (I know this is a fact because I have tried to find copies to peruse in various large bookstores around here, so I could give folks the skinny on how similar the recipes were. My search was in vain, however. Borders and Barnes and Noble are both sold out, and are urging customers to reserve copies for when the orders come in.)

Not long after Deliciously Deceptive came out, reviewers on Amazon began noting eerie similarities between the recipes of the books. Apparently, in addition to similar overall concepts, many of the recipes have similar ingredients.

Lapine also noticed the similarities, and is quoted in The Independent as saying:

“There are uncanny similarities between my book and Ms Seinfeld’s,” she said. “I was brave enough to put out a proposal that took five years to write, but I was naive not to use an agent when I sent it off to Harper Collins. I cannot possibly speculate about the similarities with Ms Seinfeld’s book and I’m not going to accuse anyone of anything, but I suppose it’s possible it’s a coincidence that there are so many similarities.”

The New York Times reported that executives from Perseus, Lapine’s publisher, even contacted Harper Collins after an early publicity brochure showed that Seinfeld’s book was to have a very similar cover to Lapine’s. The brocure “…showed an illustration of a woman holding carrots behind her back, similar to a drawing on the cover of “The Sneaky Chef.” Collins changed its plans for the cover….”

On the New York Times’ City Room blog, Jennifer B. Lee posted a side-by-side comparison of the two books, including some of the suspiciously similar recipe descriptions.

These recipes include Seinfeld’s “Green Eggs,” and Lapine’s “Popeye’s Eggs,” both verdant with pureed spinach; Seinfeld’s mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and Lapine’s mashed potatoes with cauliflower and zucchini; Seinfeld’s grilled cheese with pureed sweet potatoes or butternut squash tucked between cheese slices, and Lapine’s grilled cheese with sweet potatoes or carrots hidden between slices of cheese; or either of the author’s “Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins.” (There are lots more comparisons, but you can go the City Room to see them–I don’t feel like posting them all.)

Okay, so that is the gist of it.

Both women are making a good amount of money from their cookbooks which feature the idea of slipping veggies to the kids when they are not looking. Seinfeld has been on the Today Show and Oprah, and her first print runs have sold out, and Lapine is branding her “Sneaky Chef” image into a series of “workshops, cooking classes, coaching programs, and demonstrations that teach families how to eat healthier.” According to a post on Entrepreneur.com, Lapine has signed with a licensing firm, and a series of Sneaky Chef frozen entrees are due out soon; she has also filmed a television pilot and has received a six-figure advance on a book due out next year on the subject of sneaking vegetables into men’s food. (I am sorry, but that sounds lame as hell to me. I have been good and kept my editorializing to a minimum here, but damned if that isn’t a sexist book idea that panders to every sort of bad stereotype of both men and women, and it caters the the idea of trying to deal with an adult picky eater, which just annoys me.)

Lapine’s publisher has made noncommittal comments about legal action, and Seinfeld and her husband have both denied charges that plagiarism of any sort occurred.

And really, I believe that is so. I agree with eGullet’s Steven W. Shaw when he wrote in an excellent article in Slate that Seinfeld hasn’t committed plagiarism.

Plagiarism, as he so eloquently points out, is when an author lifts entire passages from another’s work and uses it in his own work, attributing it to him or herself. Seinfeld has not, to anyone’s knowledge done this by creating a very similar cookbook to Lapine’s.

What is actually at stake is a case of copyright infringement.

However, one has to remember that ideas cannot be copyrighted. (If that were the case, no one would be able to think anything without infringing on someone else’s copyright of that thought.)

While I think it is possible that someone in the editorial department of Harper Collins may have leaked the idea of the book, and perhaps some recipes, if not to Seinfeld, but to her nutritionist/chef/ghostwriter team, I don’t necessarily think it is likely. (But it is weird that little details like hiding vegetable purees in between slices of cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich are present in both books. And I do find it passing strange that two different women could come up with the utterly foul idea of putting pureed spinach into brownies.)

So, what may have happened is a case of copyright infringement.

Except here is the problem.

Recipes are not completely covered in US copyright law. According to the law, one cannot copyright a list of ingredients; the only place where copyright comes into play in a recipe is in the way in which the author writes the methodology–the “how to” part of the recipe.

From what I have gleaned from the articles here, there and everywhere, (and I had hoped to determine by actually looking at the books today, but was foiled in my attempt, thank you, Oprah!), is that the recipes, other than concept, are not really that similar. The ingredient lists are different, sometimes only by one or two ingredients, and then, the step by step portion is written to reflect the these differences, which, in essence, leads to two legally different, if nutritionally similar, recipes.

Which means, that even if copyright infringement has occurred, it was done by someone clever enough who knew how to cover the legal bases. (Which may point to someone within the publishing industry.) Because of this, I do not think that Lapine or her publisher have a chance in hell of proving any wrongdoing on Seinfeld or Harper Collins’ parts.

Which is fine with me, because in the end, I agree with former Times restaurant reviewer Mimi Sheraton, who wrote an excellent essay in Slate where she cheerily declared, “a plague on both their houses.”

She, like me, thinks that the idea of hiding pureed vegetables in brownies to feed to picky kids is not really going to accomplish anything. For one thing, she points out that the amounts used in the recipe will end up giving the kid about 1/12th of a serving of vegetables per brownie, and when she asked nutritionist Marion Nestle (author of What to Eat) how many vitamins and minerals would be left after cooking the vegetables, pureeing them and then baking them in a brownie so that they were cooked twice, was told essentially, that the idea was “laughable.”

So there we are. The Great Cookbook Caper of 2007.

I am sure there will be more to this story, if we all just sit tight and keep paying attention to it.

Yawn.

Now I am going to curl up and read a new cookbook from a real chef: Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food, which just came in yesterday.

33 Comments

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  1. Ms. Lapine is very fortunate to have been taken advantage of because now she’ll make so much more money from the media exposure….that’s the logic of many posters above. Yeh, she’ll even be more happy when her greedy lawyers start deposing the Seinfeld’s entire HarperCollins book prep team in 3-4 weeks to see who leaked Ms. Lapine’s manuscript. You see, Ms. Lapine didn’t use an agent when she first presented the her manuscript to HarperCollins so the book staff could possibly have just said, ” Heh, look here, a free manuscript to steal. Nobody will ever know.”

    Comment by Romey — October 26, 2007 #

  2. Thanks for the excellent summary of the whole mess.

    The cookbook reminds me of the big mystery of the world to me: I don’t understand why kids don’t like vegetables. I mean, when I was little, I didn’t particularly like mushrooms or cauliflower, but I absolutely adored green beans, onions, summer squash, beets, broccoli, and corn, and by the end of middle school I was in love with mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, winter squash, spinach, and brussel sprouts too. And I like almost every vegetable I try/eat besides the listed ones. My mother just raised me right, I suppose, and my first solid food ever was spicy Sichaun broccoli that I stole from her plate.

    It seems like Jennifer Rudolph Walsh should get some scrutiny- one plagiarized novel under her representation is an unfortuanate accident. A plagiarized novel AND a infringement-style cookbook? Now that’s just trouble.

    Comment by anna — October 26, 2007 #

  3. I understand why kids don’t like vegetables. Most vegetables don’t bland, fatty, and/or sweet. But the answer isn’t to make vegetables taste like mac-n-cheese. The answer is telling the kid “Eat one bite” three times a day for as long as it takes for them to realize that fresh spinach sauteed with garlic actually does have its good points.

    Comment by valereee — October 26, 2007 #

  4. This is a hilarious trainwreck…. thoroughly enjoyed reading this while munching a sandwich :)

    Comment by Mamlambo — October 26, 2007 #

  5. For a lot of kids in America, I think the preparation of vegetables makes a difference. My mom was pretty good about fixing things close to their natural state — steamed broccoli and green beans, that sort of thing — but there were a lot of veggies that I encountered in school meals or at friends’ houses that were cooked beyond all recognition. Canned vegetables are disgusting, universally. Frozen vegetables are better, but tend to be mushy. Then you have some things like cooked spinach, which my mother put in quiches and spanikopita, that I just can’t eat at all because the texture makes me gag — but I love raw spinach in salads. The Midwestern approach to vegetables seems to be “boil into submission,” and that just gets you this mushy/fibrous texture and bitter no-taste that’ll make anybody feel ill.

    Basically I think a lot of kids get exposed to vegetables in their least appetizing forms, and so of course they don’t like them. Similarly, I used to dislike pork because I only ever got it in chop form — dry, tough, nearly inedible chops — but once my mom switched to making marinated pork tenderloins I liked it much better. (My mom’s a pretty good cook, but it took her a while to realize that pork chops just weren’t going to work out for her.)

    An instructional cookbook that taught parents how to prepare vegetables for best flavor and texture would probably be more useful than this “sneaking” business.

    Comment by Elizabeth — October 26, 2007 #

  6. I actually wonder if the food from these books is so bad that it makes your kid want to give up mac n’ cheese and brownies forever!

    Growing up I didn’t eat a lot of veggies because my Mom didn’t particularly like veggies. Then she got into Italian food and started making all kinds of lovely veggies and I ate them happily.

    I feel that it’s not the veggies fault, a parent needs to be a decent cook. Roast your veg or sautee them – don’t boil them. Your kids will eat the veggies.

    Comment by Nicole — October 26, 2007 #

  7. This idea of hiding or sneaking veggies into a meal only adds to the paranoia about vegetables. Discussing the issue with others in front of the children is negative reinforcement.

    Hiding veggies is a almost a sin, according to me. They don’t learn to identify the veggie, its texture, its color, its inherent flavor. I have never hidden any vegetable from my daughter. If it is something new, she has to eat the few bites I put in her plate. She is free to voice her displeasure but she has to eat them anyway. The third time she eats the same veggie, she loves it. She loves asparagus, spinach, okra, cauliflower, beans, zucchini, and most other veggies. The one veggie that she has a particular dislike for – and I don’t blame her as it is not a kiddie taste – is bitter melon.

    I think it depends largely on you and the example you set for your children. If you are picky, they will take it as licence to be picky themselves. I know they say a lot of it is in the gene pool but I think a lot of it is behavioral, too.

    We were raised to appreciate the food placed on the table, simply because someone took the trouble to put it there – from earning the money to buy it to cooking it. And those are the values I am passing on to my daughter.

    Comment by Manisha — October 26, 2007 #

  8. thank you, barbara. i see this all across the food blogshere, where one person (usually a woman) complains about her ‘fussy partner’ and of how she finally found recipe that person likes. it is annoying, and no, it’s not cute.

    thanks also for highlighting the difference between plagiarism and a copyright violation.

    Comment by bee — October 26, 2007 #

  9. My mother knew all our likes and dislikes when it came to veggies, and made sure there were at least two veggies each of us liked on the table (luckily for her, there weren’t that many dislikes). My hubby’s family grew, and put up, all their veggies, so there’s not too many he won’t eat.

    Since I try to serve meat in the recommended amount, which is less than what most men want, I do a lot of stir-fry, hearty sauces, and pilafs, so it’s easy to dice veggies into those. I also serve them as side dishes, but growing up under a New England Yankee, I’m quite happy with eating them steamed with butter. But I’d love to learn to make fancier veggie dishes with complementing sauces like green beans that Chinese buffets serve.

    Comment by Sherri — October 26, 2007 #

  10. The term “sneaky” is just being used to sell the cookbook. No one is being “sneaky” by adding healthy ingredients to food. Unfortunately, the word “sneaky” was chosen as a marketing term because the word appeals to a very particular market sector: females. If you tried to sell a “sneaky” fishing rod to a male, he’d look at you like you were a fruit. When the marketing establishment learns to respect women, then such childish terms will pass away.

    Comment by Markus — October 26, 2007 #

  11. My favorite vegetable-adder is actually Jennifer McCann of Vegan Lunchbox. She’s got a lot of good recipes that are all of healthful, tasty, and extra-vegetable-containing. It’s good for all of us if we just want to get more veggies into our food, even if we like the non-hidden versions too.

    I like the way you explain the situation with recipes and copyright. I always try to reformulate (and appropriately credit) recipes if I want to republish them.

    Comment by Alexis — October 26, 2007 #

  12. I’ve cooked some recipes from Sneaky Chef, and the meatloaf recipe is fantastic. And I’m not one to cook meat much, not for any other reason than meat is expensive. Also, the book just has some practical ideas that I’ve carried over to other recipes. I’m not a natural cook, but I’m getting there.

    I think that the book is actually a great way for parents who have started bad eating habits with their kids – or who don’t know where to start, having had no god model in their own home growing up – to begin the path to mend their ways. I don’t know whether anyone reads the intro to these books, but Ms. Lapine is pretty clear on saying that if you’re in a bad place – and usually that means a control problem more than a tastebud issue – here’s how to get good stuff into your kids while you’re also working on introducing foods closer to their natural state. And with young kids, we all know how long that can take with some children who are wending their way through even the developmentally normal picky stages.

    This is going to sound completely and obnoxiously condescneding, but…at the very least, it will get some parents to begin to cook with ingredients other than the box of preserved food stuff, the flavor packet, and the 1/2 cup of water. Just buying ricotta and stirring it into the pre-packaged crap is more cooking than some people are used to doing. But it’s a start.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add a somewhat alternative POV.

    Comment by jozet — October 26, 2007 #

  13. Anna has a point. The publishing industry, like the toy industry, survives by its reputation. Their livesblood includes unknowns handing over good ideas with actual guarantees that the ideas will be protected. What protects both the publisher and the toy manufacturer is the public reputation factor. Word gets around that a company is stealing ideas, it stops getting so many. This is not a perfect mechanism but it kinda works.

    Jennifer Rudolph Walsh is going to have some rocky times ahead, whether we the public see it or not.

    Comment by Harry — October 27, 2007 #

  14. I have several thoughts about this.

    Firstly, there is a difference between putting something into a sauce / combining it with something else to add layers of flavour. Two immediate ideas include pasta sauce with finely chopped onions and tomatoes – and then you can add carrots, celery, pepper ..all of it adds flavour and “extra” vegetables.

    I also remember reading in one of Nigella Lawson’s books about how she wanted her children to like spinach. She therefore would add a teaspoon of spinach to mashed potatoe / swede / carrot etc when they were toddlers. This allowed them to get used to spinach as a taste; and therefore when presented with spinach on its own they were happy to try it. I have no doubt that combining food flavours in such recipes makes sense – it makes for a more interesting pasta sauce; and it allows the stronger “adult” tastes to be mellowed with others.

    I do think that the use of bland baby foods is a recipe for a baby without experienced tastebuds, and therefore without the knowledge that spicy doesn’t mean that it’s going to be horrid. Whilst every single child apparently goes through some form of picky eating stage; the reactions of the parents are key in the results. If the parents refuse to make mealtimes a battleground; calmly continue to offer “normal” food and refuse to replace the offering with junk food then the kid’s going to either eat or go hungry. They won’t go hungry for ever.

    Yes you get kids with distinct dislikes; yes some kids have specific problems and yes there are some foods a kid may never like no matter what. But that doesn’t mean that the result has to be an adult who will only ever eat meat and potatoes and who said “yes” when asked “do you like fish” , but actually meant “I only like fishfingers”

    Comment by Kath Minchin — October 27, 2007 #

  15. Fry it, you’ll like it! No need to deceive anyone. Kids love veggies when they’re crispy, crunchy and colorful but most importantly when they have FLAVOR.

    I teach wok cooking using a no-recipe technique, and people are amazed when they discover it’s so simple to stir fry veggies with some oil, garlic and ginger and a dash of tamari and sherry. My students tell me their kids enjoy preparing dinner Asian style, and that eating with chopsticks makes it so much more interesting.

    I grew up in Asia where it’s common to see babies in high chairs being fed vegetables and loving them. It’s a bit of a shock to hear that children have a hard time with their veggies in the West.

    Having lived in the U.K. and America for the past twenty years, I’ve discovered many westerners typically eat vegetables: 1) raw in salads or 2) overdone by steaming or boiling or 3) smothered with cheese or goopy sauces. Not surprising kids won’t eat them.

    Just DON’T use non-stick woks, they cannot be used on high heat, essential for stir-frying. A successful stir fry requires high heat, fresh ingredients, and a good wok (cast iron).

    Happy to explain more if you want to know.

    Comment by Eleanor Hoh — October 27, 2007 #

  16. Reading about this jogged a memory so I went rummaging through my cookbook collection. Sure enough, there it was. Both of these books are pre-dated by “Confessions of a Sneaky Cook”, by Jane Kinderlehrer, published in 1971 by Rodale Press. Except for a few sneaky recipes, notably adding organ meats to the ground beef mixture for hamburgers, this book concentrates more on healthy eating and nutrition than catering to picky eaters. Less than half the book is given to recipes, most of which are pretty straight forward, using brown rice instead of white, adding wheat germ, using whole wheat flour, etc. In 1971 you had to go to a health food store for ingredients we take for granted in the supermarket now. Some of the points in the book that seemed radical then, now just feel like common sense.

    Comment by Brenda Waterman — October 28, 2007 #

  17. I always seem to be writing when I disagree, when I read the blog all the time liking it.

    But anyway, the legal issue may be copyright infringement, but plagiarism could still be happening. Plagiarism could be taking place when someone is paraphrasing. Plagiarism is about not citing your sources. So it could be happening if Seinfield was actually exposed to Lapine’s manuscript and is using her ideas Legally that’s a difficult case to prove.

    But yes, why do we need these books? Americans need to grow up and stop thinking the entire world should cater to them and their children. Kids learn to be picky from somewhere. I used to babysit a little girl whose mother made her “special” TV dinner every night (hot dogs, tater tots, etc) while the adults ate salmon and salad. Now the mother is shocked that her daughter is eleven and won’t eat her vegetables.

    Come to think about it maybe there was no plagiarism, but there just aren’t that many inspiring and innovative recipes where you can “sneak” in vegetables. Maybe there are only so many methods where you can completely mask the taste. This is unfortunate considering the thousands of ways you can “honestly” prepare vegetables. :)

    Comment by mujeresliebres — October 28, 2007 #

  18. As the editor on Deceptively Delicious I would like to clear up some of the nasty rumors that have gone on far too long about the book’s originality. The smuggling of veggies into foods has been a mother’s secret ammo for years: Jessica has never claimed ownership of the idea nor claimed that it was the perfect solution; it just so happened to work for her and she wanted to share it with the millions of mothers out there who struggle with their kids every day over the dinner table. Any similarity between Deceptively Delicious and Sneaky Chef is due to the very nature of the cookbooks—they are aimed at kids, so obviously the recipes are going to run the gamut of pancakes, French toast, and pasta. (There are only so many ways to make pancakes.) In addition, the very act of “hiding” calls for using certain veggies that camouflage well in food (i.e., white or orange veggies in mac and cheese). If you look closely, you will see that while the some main meals are covered in both books, they do differ in ingredients and preparation. The proof is in the pudding.

    As for HarperCollins seeing the Sneaky Chef proposal, yes we did. But it was my publisher who saw it and passed on it, without even sharing it with anyone in house (including me). This happens a lot in publishing. We see so many proposals, and many are rejected without much attention.

    Comment by Kathy Huck — October 30, 2007 #

  19. I was disgusted to see Jerry Seinfeld slander that poor woman, Ms. Lapine, on Letterman. Boy, I’ll bet Jessica told him to go salvage her reputation or else. His diatribe was outright slander, and I think that this shows WHAT JERRY IS REALLY LIKE.

    I wouldn’t go see his humorless BEES movie (which is really just a rip-off of the ANTZ movie, done several years ago). I always felt that Jason Alexander really carried Seinfeld all those years.

    Jerry has a cruel streak as seen with his remark about Ms. Lapine, but, if you really know Jerry, it’s just par for the course.

    Comment by Hector — October 31, 2007 #

  20. [...] You can read about the whole mess here. [...]

    Pingback by The Writer Behind the Words » Blog Archive » Is the Sneaky Chef Deceptively Delicious? — November 1, 2007 #

  21. Ms. Seinfeld has a NEW book out; it’s called, “The Joy of Cooking with Cinnimon.” Early readings show that the recipes are similar to well-known cookbook, “The Joy of Cooking,” except that cinnimon has been added to every recipe. Jerry Seinfeld has already scheduled for Letterman next week.

    Let’s take a quick look at the William Morris agent who brought Jessica Seinfeld to Harper Collins. Her name is Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. Name sound familiar? Probably not. But, she is also the agent of Kaavya Viswanathan who is the Harvard sophomore who was proved to have plagiarised her best selling book.

    Comment by Hector — November 1, 2007 #

  22. These books are both based on the pernicious concept of lying to your kids, and forever etching into their minds the connection between “healthy” eating and deception. Both miss the point of how to really set your kids on the path of health and appreciating vegetables for what they are. The difference is that Seinfeld has agents and publicists and a pretty doggish husband who are all attacking Lapine, the result being that she ends up looking like the (talentless) bully who may or may not have put any creative energy into writing her book, but is certainly putting a lot of energy into publicizing it. Bleh. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth… kind of like spinach in brownies…

    Comment by bazu — November 2, 2007 #

  23. I really am not so concerned with who wrote which book first. My mother introduced multiple vegetable choices to me and my siblings at a very young age, often using minimal salt and herbs for seasoning to bring on the best flavor. She grew, picked, and canned many of our family’s veggies for many years. I love vegetables, as does my husband, and prepare and eat them often. We have two children, one five years old and one two years old. They are completely different when it comes to their food choices, despite living in the same household. One child will eat anything you prepare for him. The other child will not. So many of the suggestions that some parents offer (modeling eating habits, preparing the vegetables in tasteful and attractive ways, offering these foods ten times, not letting your child leave the table until he/she takes a bite, etc) have all been tried in my home. Until you are THAT parent with this dilemma, and a child who you are concerned for their nutritional status (I am also a nurse with some nutritional education), it is real easy to offer advice, because you find these concepts frivilous.

    Just as adults change recipes, replacing applesauce to reduce the fat, or tofu for protein, I am not lying to my child. I am merely replacing or enhancing an ingredient in their food. And although it may not pack the most powerful “punch” to their nutritional status, it sure is better that nothing at all, or other high-fat fried foods, or trans-fat options.

    So, again….I’ll take a few suggestions no matter who wrote the book(s).

    Comment by nprice — November 3, 2007 #

  24. [...] I only occasionally read food blogs, so I had no idea how much this had been debated, (or that Seinfeld’s agent was the same one who had repped Kaavya Viswanathan, the young Harvard undergrad whose novel turned out to be plagiarized). Barbara Fisher’s food blog Tigers and Strawberries has the lowdown on the entire kit n’ hidden kibble in the kaboodle. This entry is filed under fun, misc., comedy, news, hoax. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply [...]

    Pingback by Noir Dame Blog - » The intrigue and passion foaming through the “foodie” community — “Hidden” Valley Veggiegate! — November 4, 2007 #

  25. As a literary agent who has had nothing to do with this book I have been fascinated by the story. I cannot imagine that anyone at HarperCollins thought the idea was so brilliant that they stole it. That would be crazy. I think as everyone here has said, these are not original ideas, it’s just that there’s a very famous name behind one of the books. I suspect Harper passed on Lapine’s book for the very simple reason that it seems like a very small idea. Never in a million years would someone have thought it was bestseller material.

    One of my gripes about the entire thing is the media attention (and I did speak about this on my blog). It annoys me to no end that the author who gets the attention (ahem, Oprah) for such a ridiculous book is named Seinfeld. With no food background. Would Oprah have ever considered a segment otherwise? I doubt it.

    Comment by Jessica Faust, BookEnds — November 5, 2007 #

  26. I’m from a country that has countless recipes for vegetables. My kids have never had any trouble eating veggies. Sure there are some that one or other won’t like, but that’s just normal. I don’t agree with sneaking veggies into kids’ junk food – that’s just ‘bad karma’, to use a cliche. I have followed your blogs on this topic and totally agree with your PoV.

    Comment by Bird's eye view — November 12, 2007 #

  27. I thought of you when I read this, because of your post:
    Love of broccoli begins in womb
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2983849.ece

    In a nutshell, babies are more willing to eat veggies if their mothers ate veggies while pregnant and/or breastfeeding.

    Comment by Sherri — December 2, 2007 #

  28. Jennifer Rudolph Walsh has a history of stealing books (yes, already PUBLISHED material) and now she has stolen Missy Lapine’s book and GIVEN it to the dummmy Jessica Seinfeld. Ms. Walsh is just motivated by greed without ethics. Only now, Missy Lapine has some bad-ass attorneys who are demanding a jury trial. Ms. Walsh is what is wrong in publishing. Poor Jessica! See what Jerry got you into!!!

    Comment by Uri — January 8, 2008 #

  29. I don’t understand why Jennifer Rudoph Walsh hasn’t been fired. She’s as guilty as the Beresford whore of ripping off Lapine’s book.

    Comment by me — February 6, 2008 #

  30. I love Barbara . How would life be without her! I hope that she is doing well!

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