If the thought of lifting spoonfuls of yellow milk to your lips or twirling a plate of lime green spaghetti is unsettling, you’re not alone. California-based photographer Lawrie Brown wants it that way. Her “Colored Food Series” exploits our brains’ natural inclination to agree with what our stomach wants, and does so in the most unappetizing way.

“The idea for these photographs came from a basic food consciousness,” Brown explained in an email to Medical Daily. In talking with her friends and family, she developed a distrust for food manufacturers. “When I realized that I could not feel good about any purchases at the grocery store, I decided that this had all gone too far, and I wanted to make a statement about it.” So she grabbed cans of latex house paint and started brushing.

The psychology of food helps explain why Brown’s project strikes some as unsettling and some as just plain fun. Our eyes judge edibility, at least in part, by color. Purple fudge on an ice cream sundae may remind people of grape topping, or it may just appear as alien. Such was the crux of the 2000 debate over Heinz’s line of purple and green ketchups, which some say might never end.

Click “View Gallery” to see Brown’s entire collection of colored food.