Everywhere I go now, places are selling Wagyu beef in their meals. The main reason of course is the fancy name and the fact they can charge a lot more for it.
Attribution: Flickr - Lil' Dee
So what is Wagyu beef?
This is meat from a range of Japanese cattle breeds that have the marbled meat which is sought after in Japan and other Asian countries.
Attribution: Wikicommons - Cgoodwin
Is Wagyu beef fattier than other beef?
The answer is complex, but a slice of lean beef will have much less fat than a slice of Wagyu beef.
Why is this type of beef valued?
In Asia, meat is often traditionally used as a flavour, not a meal in itself. Also the fat helps cook the meat better without additional oil.
Of course in western countries food scientists have learnt that we like fattier meats, so they have long been doing things like mixing the fat into hamburger patties to make us eat more. Wagyu is like that, only it is pre-mixed and people believe it is better because it is natural.
Attribution: Flickr - Alpha
Should you eat it?
Anyone on a lean diet should avoid Wagyu beef and stick to traditional beef with the fat trimmed off. Of course my philosophy is a little of what you fancy does you good.