Meat company West Texas Provisions, Inc sold over $1 million of degraded meat to 32 prison institutions in 18 states, the U.S. Department of Justice announced last month. The meat was marketed by West Texas Provisions as USDA approved, when in fact no such inspection was held. The meat packing plant also violated ground meat standards by adding whole cow hearts into their products.

Food writer Corby Kummer joined Boston Public Radio on Tuesday to explain why this violates health and ethics standards.

"They paid no attention to food safety for meat that went into prisons and [West Texas Provisions] would send people in the night, when the inspectors weren't there, to cut up the heart valves and put them in," he said. "This kind of contempt treats people as second class citizens, as if they aren't really people."

This kind of health abuse only adds to the unjust treatment that prisoners face, Kummer said.

"It is part of the whole movement in this country to treat prisoners as animals, as refuse and as members of society who don't deserve any kind of humane treatment," he said. "This is defeating the whole purpose of the correctional system, which is trying to get people back into society, because how do they expect these people to want to be productive members of society when they've been abused in prison?"

Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.